Finger of woman pushing heart icon on screen in mobile smartphone application. Online dating app, valentine's day concept.

                 By: Nick Gambino

With every new social media app comes a new platform full of new content for you to doom scroll. Endless scrolling is universally acknowledged as a problem, but that’s not stopping us from doing it.

TikTok, one of the new and most popular apps on the block, has now added ways to help you take a break from the app. That’s right, they’re encouraging you to spend less time with them, something counter-intuitive to a good business model. Or is it?

TikTok specializes in short-form videos which are a killer way to suck you in for long periods of time. The short attention span required makes it perfect for just about anyone looking to zone out and imbibe entertainment without getting bored.

The new feature allows you to set a period of time you want to be on the app. When the timer goes off, you’ll receive a reminder to get a life…I mean take a break. They introduced a daily screen limit feature back in 2020, but this will allow you to control it in one sitting.

In addition to reminders, there’s going to be an entire dashboard dedicated to helping you give all that endless scrolling a rest.

“Our new screen time dashboard will also give our community data about how much time they are spending on TikTok, with summaries of their daily time spent on the app, the number of times they opened the app, and a breakdown of daytime and night-time usage,” TikTok Product Manager of Digital Well-being, Jordan Furlong, said in a blog post.

Users will also get the chance to receive weekly notifications from the dashboard. This is very similar to the iOS Screen Time tool. And while I don’t cut down my iPhone usage based on my abysmal weekly report, I’m glad it’s there to make me feel guilty.

TikTok is also taking into account younger users who might be at greater risk of unhealthy scrolling. Users between the ages of 13 and 17 will receive a reminder of the screen time tool, specifically when their “sessions” extend beyond 100 minutes.

These reminders are a good thing. Though, I wish they would remove other harmful features such as like and viewer counts and push notifications. But that might be wishful thinking.