Tech Trends: TikTok Time Limits, the Social Media War on Drugs and a Dangerous Viral Drinking Trend

Tech Trends March 2023

Each month, Plugged In will release a blog with the latest technology and social media trends. We’ll let you know what changes to keep an eye out for. We’ll offer some tips about how to handle technology in your family. And of course, we’ll give you the scoop on those things called “hashtags” so you can stay up to date on all the things your kids might be obsessed with.

And ICYMI (“in case you missed it,” for those up on their social acronyms), you can check out February’s Tech Trends, too.

Everything TikTok

Will TikTok get banned in the U.S. or not? The answer is maybe.

I wrote last month that the app may get banned in the U.S. And it might, but don’t hold your breath. International Business Times reports a plan dubbed “Project Texas”,  in which TikTok would transfer U.S. user data to the American tech giant Oracle Corp., as opposed to leaving it in China and where it remains vulnerable to (TikTok critics say) the Chinese government. The plan would also allow Oracle to review TikTok’s software (to check for security breaches and whatnot). And it would appoint a three-person government-approved oversight board to ensure data remains protected.

But honestly, you may decide that you want to delete the app regardless of what the government decides. TechRadar argues for this since TikTok employs intrusive tracking techniques and collects an insane amount of data.

If you don’t delete the app, then you may want to take advantage of some of the new features it offers—namely, a time-limit for teens. (But more on this below.)

The Screen Time Limit Debacle

The Washington Post and some other news sources have reported that parental-imposed time limits on screens often don’t work. (And since teens age 13 and above can simply input their passcode to override the time limit, that’s not all that surprising.) But self-imposed time limits can help us work towards a better relationship with social media itself.

Dr. Magis-Weinberg, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Washington, suggests that limiting time isn’t so much about a harsh cut-off as it is a balancing act of your daily schedule. A full, healthy lifestyle can in itself curb screen use, she says in Health: If you’re working, engaging in hobbies, getting enough sleep and otherwise using your time in non-screen activities, there’s not as much time to scroll online. But, if there is, that is a good time to engage in “intentional” or “meaningful” use, she adds.

The site Make Use Of suggests the use of time limits in conjunction with evaluation of the time spent. Ask yourself (or your child) if the time spent on social media actually produces positive feelings. If not, it could be a good time to curate your feed by blocking or muting accounts that make you feel lousy.

When in doubt, follow these “screen-time commandments” from The Wall Street Journal.

  1. No screens at the dinner table.
  2. No screens in the bedroom.
  3. No screens for babies.
  4. Stick to smart, positive content.
  5. Take regular breaks.

And remember, screen time limits are a tool, not an end-all solution. As our own Adam Holz suggests, spend time with your kids and engage in meaningful conversations about their use of screens so they can learn to make better decisions for themselves.

Twitter and Other Social Media Platforms Aren’t Regulating Advertisements for Illegal Drugs

It feels like this should be illegal in and of itself, but Twitter actually refused to suspend an account that was advertising narcotics in Ireland.

According to Irish news source, Twitter summarized that since the account wasn’t violating safety policies (which protects against harm, violence, harassment, child exploitation, racism, sexism and terrorism), it wouldn’t do anything.

But Twitter isn’t the only culprit. California lawmakers are still trying to figure out if social media networks should be held accountable if a child is sold drugs (particularly fentanyl) through their platforms. Colorado Newsline reports that many sellers get away with it through the use of hyperlinks and QR codes. And Snapchat was mentioned in particular since its vanishing chat feature makes it easy to avoid detection, too.

Resistance Is Futile: Everything You Need To Know About the Borg Hangover Hack

The Borg mentioned here actually has nothing to do with the Star Trek species. Rather, “BORG” is short for “blackout rage gallon.” And essentially, it’s a mix of water, liquor and electrolytes meant to help prevent hangovers, made popular by viral TikTok videos.

Unfortunately, it’s causing hospitalizations. The Amherst Fire Department handled requests for 28 ambulance transports after students at the University of Massachusetts tried the “hack” at the school’s annual “Blarney Blowout,” a precursor to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

And as Spring Break season gets underway, parents and students alike are being warned to avoid “Borg Drinking” and cautioned against the dangers of consuming alcohol.


Hashtags, trends, reels, sounds, tracks, stories—we know it feels impossible to keep up with what the kids are into these days. But here’s a quick overview of what your teen might be posting/watching on TikTok, Instagram and all the other “socials” this month.

  • “Do You Feel Bonita?” (169.8K posts) – This trend uses an audio clip from Family Guy and is used to make sure a loved one feels beautiful.

  • “I Left You Alone For Five Minutes” (139.2K posts) – The audio for this trend is used to highlight somewhere you’d spend a lot of money in a short amount of time, often to the shock of others.

  • “Piano” (89.8K posts) – Using a catchy piano riff from guycotrendy, this trend is all about syncing up photos to the beat of the music.

  • “Got To Be Real” (83.6K posts) – Showcase a night out or milestone event to the tune of “Got to Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn.

  • “You’re Joking” (28.2K posts) – Basically just a really annoying voice saying “you’re joking” that’s usually paired with content so “unbelievable” it must be a joke. (Insert eye roll and face palm emojis.)

  • “Calm Down” (23.7K posts) – This is simply a song by austinmillz that pairs well with another trend known as GRWM (Get Ready With Me), where influencers show off their outfits.

  • “No” (11.7K posts) – What’s a big no-no for you? This trend features all the red flags of life.

  • “Watch This” (10.4K posts) – Catalog a day in your life to a remixed version of Lil Uzi Vert’s “Watch This”.

  • “Why I’m Single” (6.5K posts) – Essentially, this trend is just about highlighting things are glaringly obvious to others but that you missed somehow.

  • “Worsaaaaa” (4.8K posts) – Use this audio from Kae Da Don to highlight a moment that went from bad to worse.

  • “It’s Giving” (3.3K posts) – The audio for this trend includes a use of “h—” and it’s giving me vibes of humble bragging and condescension.
Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

One Response

  1. -I use YouTube, but not any other social media platforms. Therefore, I cannot really relate to the current “trends”/challenges. (I am going to graduate high school this year.)

    The social media stuff I am into right now is rediscovering 5-15 year old fan-made music videos/mashups/funny reviews/funny commentaries on YouTube (mainly fandom-related ones). I really did not use YouTube until about 1 year ago because my family did not allow for me to use it until then. (Yes, I am growing up in a “strict” household where my parents did not let me watch shows like King of the Hill until I turned 16.)

    As a result, I am now discovering all of the cool videos that my classmates/friends were watching in elementary/middle school when I could not use the platform. However, I do have to say that it was worth not using YouTube until now as it has a lot of negative content. Since I am older, I can now just ignore that and enjoy so many videos/fandoms that are new to me. This certainly goes against the trends as others are just watching them out of nostalgia while I am just learning about all of these cool creations people have made. Sorry if it seems like I am being prideful/placing myself over others. I am just stating my experience and being thankful for what my parents have done and hope the same for other families based on their needs.

    To be honest, the only recent trends I have been into are Animash (which is more of a fandom), John Cena memes (lol), and commentary/review videos. Hopefully Plugged In will talk a bit more about fandoms in future blogs as they should be talked about as much as Fan Fiction (discussed last summer on the blog). There is a lot of great fan-created content for fandoms outside of Fan Fiction, including Animash, Fan Art, Fan Music Videos, Theories, and more.

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