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Parents are being warned about Tik Tok and other apps

Posted at 7:16 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 07:41:18-04

CALEDONIA, Mich. — Tik Tok is currently one of the most popular apps on social media. That's the app where there’s a bunch of lip-syncing and dancing to music.

If you have teenagers or young adults, you know exactly what we're talking about. Some of these videos go viral, and it isn't always for the good.

There have been dangerous challenges that can put your kids in harm’s way.

Kids can get into trouble with these challenges because peer pressure can outweigh common sense, says licensed psychologist Dr. Nicole Beurkens. We all know that throughout history kids have gotten themselves into trouble with the help of their peers.

But social media takes it to an entirely different level because once it's online, it can be shared around the world.

"As adults, we look at these kinds of challenges and go what in the world, why would anybody do these things?” notes Dr. Beurkens. “But it’s important to understand what’s going on in the development of kids at the preteen and teen years,"

"So, that really is kind of a perfect storm of brains that are not yet fully developed. The prefrontal cortex in our brain that allows us to do higher level thinking -- problem solving, stopping and thinking before we do things -- is not yet fully developed until, really, young adulthood."

Dr. Beurkens also says kids are very concerned about being accepted, especially by others on social media, so it can lead them down the wrong path.

She says the best advice for parents is to be aware of what their kids are doing online, even sitting down together and looking at how they are using apps like Tik Tok.