Latayne’s Corner: What is TikTok and Should You Be Concerned about it?


Credit: Kon Karampelas

What is TikTok and Should You Be Concerned about it?

by Latayne C. Scott


Parents of teens are aware of YouTube, Instagram, and other popular apps that teens like to use. However, there’s a new app that is very popular with kids under 16.

TikTok is a social media app through which users share very short—60 second or less—videos. The most prevalent videos are comedy sketches, pratfalls, acrobatics and lip-synching to popular music.


One of the reasons this app has such appeal is that many of the creators of are themselves teens. The atmosphere is generally playful or even silly (its slogan is, “make social fun again), providing interludes that kids say is a welcome and refreshing platform for self-expression.


TikTok, first famous in China and just in the US market since last year with 15 million users already, also makes sharing on other social media platforms easy. Some of the most popular users, with followers in the hundreds of thousands to even millions, are former YouTube personalities.

Should you be concerned about your teen’s use of TikTok?


Here are some reasons to talk to your child about it:


1) Some of the language and other content of songs on the app is not appropriate for teens, some parents have said.


2) As with other forms of media, sometimes creators of the videos “push the envelope” in trying to stand out from the others. That could encourage your kids to take risks to get attention too.


3) Although the minimum age for use is 13, sometimes younger kids use it.


4) Unless you specify otherwise, all accounts are public – which means that both peers and predators can see what is posted. Only “approved followers” can directly contact your child, and the app does allow you to set the account to private. Even so, the child’s photo, username and bio are always public.


5) As we point out in Protecting Your Child From Predators: How to Recognize and Respond to Sexual Danger, parents must constantly be vigilant about their kids’ use of any app. TikTok has settings for “Digital Wellbeing” (that can limit screen time on the app), a “restricted mode” that monitors inappropriate content, and the privacy setting.


On the other hand, parents can have some very productive conversations – and good laughs together – by watching some favorite videos with kids. Sometimes you can get some real insight into what’s going on in your kid’s mind by seeing what he or she thinks is funny or interesting.

If you think some of the videos your kid likes “go too far,” this is a great opportunity to find out what the appeal is and to ask some open-ended questions that show your love and your interest.


Don’t know how to start conversations like this? Dr. Beth Robinson and I offer some practical tips for doing just that – and how to manage other challenges with teens and technologies—in Protecting Your Child from Predators. Available on Amazon and in local bookstores.

About the Author


Latayne C. Scott is author of over 25 published books and thousands of magazine articles and blog posts. She is co-author with Dr. Beth Robinson of Protecting Your Child from Predators: How to Recognize and Respond to Sexual Danger (Bethany, 2019) and an upcoming book about how to talk to teens about sex (also to be published by Bethany.) Robinson and Scott blog at KidsCallMeDoc.com.


Her latest books are What Will Be Made Plain: An Amish Ghost Story (TSU Press, 2019), A Conspiracy of Breath (TSU Press, 2017), The Parables of Jesus (TSU Press, 2017), and as a contributor to Leaving Mormonism: Why Four Scholars Changed Their Minds (Kregel, 2017).


Connect with Latayne at her blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


You can read “Latayne’s Corner” on the 4th Friday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.


#LatayneCScott #LataynesCorner #TikTok #Teens #Parents #Teenagers

Young Living Banner.Lavender.jpg
Gillette on Demand.jpg
Boxed Wholesale Delivered
Ambit Energy
Finally Family Homes.LOGO.jpg
Rakuten Ebates.jpg

© Joanne Troppello and Mustard Seed Sentinel, 2019. Unauthorized usage or duplication of any content published on this website without specific written permission from the site owner is strictly prohibited. With appropriate and specific guidance, excerpts and links may be used provided full definitive credit is given to Joanne Troppello, the contributor, and Mustard Seed Sentinel. Publication start date March 2016. MSS is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

DISCLAIMER: MSS reserves the right to remove comments on articles and in the forum that are not in line with our family-friendly brand and faith-based Christian magazine theme. Please make every effort to comment on articles and participate in the chat rooms in a friendly way that is devoid of profanity and hateful speech. MSS reserves the right to decline site membership (both the free membership and paid subscription membership) to any members who are violating our requests to keep this online community family-friendly. No spam links or comments will be allowed. Spam, profanity, and hateful speech will be deleted.

Freelance content submissions are always welcome and can be submitted through the submit button on the top of the Home Page underneath the header. All submissions are subject to review and possible rejection if the content does not meet quality standards. Edits may be suggested or required for some submissions. At this time, compensation is not given for submissions. However, as the Mustard Seed Sentinel readership grows, financial compensation will be provided for freelancers who submit appropriate and acceptable content for publication, such as the following: author interviews they've completed, guest blogs, or news articles. All freelancers will have their byline listed. NOTE: Mustard Seed Sentinel is a family-friendly publication and only appropriate faith-based content will be accepted.

This magazine is available for free online.

If you like our content and want to support

this publication, feel free to donate below.

Our paid subscription page is for paying members only. Engaging content, educational information, and interactive activities like webinars, as well as podcasts, are available for these paying members.

Publication of Mustard Seed Marketing Group, LLC