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TikTok is damaging the minds of young children, writes Lynn News reporter Kris Johnston





As a 23-year-old, it feels rather premature for me to be coming out with phrases like ‘back in my day’.

But considering just how drastic the changes in childhood habits have been since I was a kid, it’s perhaps not as absurd as it sounds.

For far too many, gone are the days of an after-school game of football on an all-too-small patch of grass.

A new report suggests that a new trend involves children aged eight and over watching two separate videos at the same time on TikTok. Picture: iStock
A new report suggests that a new trend involves children aged eight and over watching two separate videos at the same time on TikTok. Picture: iStock

Nervously knocking on your friend’s door to ask if they are coming out to play is a thing of the past, while spontaneous adventures (parental consent not required) are a dying breed.

The main causes? A rise in social media and smartphones. The new, most deadly symptom? Mindlessly scrolling through TikTok.

According to a new Children’s Media Lives report from Ofcom, one quarter of children aged 5-7 use the Chinese video app.

Lynn News reporter Kris Johnston
Lynn News reporter Kris Johnston

Its findings suggest that for those aged eight and over, split-screen viewing has become the “latest trend”. This involves posts which feature two videos, often unrelated, playing simultaneously.

This format apparently appeals to youngsters who are so used to watching TV while scrolling on another device that they are no longer “comfortable” watching one reel at a time.

It’s not just young children who are being taken in by the addictive nature of TikTok - I know a fair few people in my own age bracket who could do with taking a break from its wrath.

That’s before you start to consider its potentially serious security concerns, with governments across the globe starting to wise up and consider banning it from work devices.

Children will face the most long-term repercussions, though. You’re only young once, you only develop once - if your brain becomes so used to senselessly flicking through online content, it’ll be hard to rewire it.

So get your kids away from those screens. Encourage them to read a book, go for a walk, play a sport, or - god forbid it - talk to someone. Before it’s too late.



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