Too much TikTok is harmful and addicting to kids, Chinese study finds

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Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Study finds too much TikTok is harmful, addicting to kids
Researchers in China found TikTok triggers parts of the brain that are involved in addiction, making it difficult for children to turn away.

Too much TikTok is harmful to kids, a study finds.

Chinese researchers analyzed college students. They gave them videos they liked and took brain scans.

It showed certain sections of the brain associated with addiction were lit up.

"TikTok clips are designed to continue to engage attention and to turn away is very difficult because it's like, after you've been -- say -- fasting for three days, then there's a sumptuous meal in front of you, it's hard for anybody to pull back," Dr. Michael Manos of Cleveland Clinic Children's said.

RELATED: CA parents could sue social media giants if they feel their kids have become addicted under new bill

California lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow parents to sue social media companies if they feel their children have become addicted to their apps.

The social media app floods users with videos they like, keeping them glued for hours.

The study said about 5.9% of TikTok users might have significant problematic use.

Experts say kids have a hard time knowing when to shut it off because the brain's prefrontal cortex that targets impulse control and decision-making does not fully develop until age 25.

"In addition to enabling parents to control screen time as part of our Family Pairing features, TikTok limits evening push notifications and proactively surfaces in-feed reminders to take breaks from our app," TikTok said in a statement.

Health experts say parents can take action and limit the screen time their kids spend on TikTok and other social media apps.