If you are over 30, you probably remember life before the internet. Back then, there were no cell phones, you had to record TV shows with a video camera, and the word Instagram hadn’t been invented.
In fact, the concept of Instagram would have been a real source of confusion 30 years ago. Imagine saying, “You can Take photos with random things, including close-up photos of your face, and share them instantly with everyone. Yes, and don’t forget to add a hashtag. »
For anyone under the age of 18, this seems like a normal concept. Today’s children have grown up believing that the world is their scene.
While Instagram can be a useful way for teens to connect with friends, it has its disadvantages.
If your teen has (or wants) an Instagram account and you’re not sure if it’s a good idea, take some time to learn more about this social platform.
What exactly is Instagram?
In its simplest form, Instagram is a photo and video sharing app for a mobile phone (it has a web version, but you can’t upload photos or videos from your desktop or laptop, just view and comment on other people’s photos) .
The application has sophisticated photo editing tools to manipulate the photo before it is posted to the user’s account. The user, theoretically, then adds a caption and hashtags, which make the image searched by other Instagram users.
A user can share a photo or video in three ways: privately (limited to followers only), publicly (available to everyone), and directly (the image is sent to up to 15 people).
Is there a minimum age to use Instagram?
Instagram complies with the Law on the protection of children’s online privacy and requires users to be at least 13 years old. However, because they do not require proof of age, younger children can easily sign up for an account (with or without parental permission). If Instagram is notified of a minor account holder and can verify the user’s age, they will delete the account.
Are there any risks when using Instagram?
It’s as risky as any other another social networking site . Your child can meet serious dangers online , From a predatory child up to a bully , On Instagram. Given man’s natural tendency to post only flattering photos, which are often flawlessly modified with filters and other editing features, some say Instagram could have a special impact on people’s body image and fear of losing calls to FOMO ).
By monitoring parents and following the rules of the account, young Instagrammers can learn to manage these risks. Set boundaries for what your teen does can post on social networks and use socializing strategies that will keep you safe.
What personal information is in the account?
The display name (which may or may not be the user’s real name), profile picture, and biography are visible to the public (including those who do not follow or subscribe to the feed).
Therefore, it is important to insist that your teen keep a fake username, rather than using their full name as a display name. The profile photo must be age-appropriate and the biography must be harmless.
Behind the scenes, there is a «private information» section. Your teen might enter your phone number here, but it’s not necessary, so make sure it’s empty, just to be safe.
Can I restrict who sees my child’s profile?
In a word, something like that. The purpose of Instagram is like Tumblr , get a large number of followers. However, if you prefer that your teen restrict access to your photos and videos to a limited number of people, you can do so by setting your profile to private.
If it’s still public, it means that everyone, from profile viewers to the general public, can see the photos. If it is private, it means that the user must approve whoever has to follow it.
If your teen wants a public account, but you want it to be private, create the account in steps. Start with a private account, and after your teen shows that he or she can follow the rules, allow the account to become public.
Does the photo share where my child is?
Maybe if you allow it. You can tag the photo so that it is in a specific location, but it is not required. Decide if you want to allow your teen to tag locations and communicate that decision.
If you want to remove the decision, grab your teen’s phone, go to settings, and turn off Instagram location settings. At the same time, you may want to double-check what other apps allow your teen to post where they are at any given time.
Revealing its location could invite potential predators to come and look for it. Of course, even if you turn off location settings, the photo itself can show where your teen is. A photo with her at the high school football game or a photo with an identifiable landmark in the background will also announce where she is.
How can I prevent certain people from seeing my child’s profile?
You can easily block other Instagram users; however, if your teen’s profile is set to public, they will still be able to see it without an Instagram account. you will simply not be able to comment or send direct messages to your child.
To block a user, go to that person’s profile, select the menu button, and then choose «Block user.» This also prevents the person from tagging their teenager in photos.
Can I get rid of a photo my child posted on Instagram?
You can delete a post at any time, even after years. However, remember that if your child has shared it Facebook o Twitter, deleting the photo on Instagram does not delete it on other social platforms.
Therefore, you will need to visit each site individually to delete the photo. If someone tagged your teen in a photo and you don’t want them to appear, click the teen’s name in the photo and remove the tag.
Remember that just because it doesn’t appear on your teen’s account doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. Someone else may have already saved or distributed it.
How do I report a user bullying or harassing my child?
The platform offers an integrated reporting system and is completely anonymous. This means that the abuser will not know that the report came from your teenager’s account. Your teen may be wary of reporting to colleagues, worrying about negative reactions.
However, you should talk to your teen about the safety of the Internet often. Discuss the importance of using the Instagram lock feature and privacy settings.
Is peer pressure an issue on Instagram?
Because Instagram is made up of images, there may be pressure to look good. Some teenagers spend hours trying to surprise perfect selfie to share. And then they sit down and watch what kind of reaction I get from your photo.
Many teenagers rely on appreciations and comments from social networks to feed their self-image. The more attention they attract, the better they will feel. Of course, body image problems are also manifests itself on many other social platforms.
But Instagram was particularly annoying. Hashtags like #thighgap, for example, are becoming a boast among women who show how thin their legs are. Putting so much emphasis on appearance and comparing images with each other could lead to self-esteem issues and fuel eating disorders.
Can photos of my child appear on Instagram even if they don’t have an account?
Even if you don’t allow your child to have an Instagram account, that doesn’t mean I’m not on the site. Adolescents need to know that even if they do not engage in social networking, they may continue to build an online reputation that employment managers or college admissions officers may find.
Nothing prevents another user from uploading a photo of your teenager and identifying their full name. Remember, at least if your teen has an account, there is minimal control over photos that identify the child.
What do I do if I want to ban my child from having an Instagram account?
You could do that, but you might not like the way it works. Social media is a mainstay in a teenager’s life, no matter how much you don’t want it to be true. If you have a super obedient child, go after him.
If your teen is like most, he or she may not follow your edict. Because email accounts are free and the app is free, it’s pretty easy for your teen to access it without you knowing. As they say, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.
Rules that need to be set to use Instagram properly
Use your best judgment based on your priorities and values. Here are some suggestions:
Check the photos, including the background, again for identifying information. A photo posted in your teen’s bedroom could have a sign saying high school in the back.
- Hashtags must not reveal location or personal information, such as #MountainsideHighSchool, #HappinessInNewton or #GymnasticsInOsseo.
All photos must be taken while the teen is fully clothed; that is, there are no photos in the swimsuit. Even if she is fully clothed, there are no photos above her head while wearing a V-neck shirt.
- No vulgarity or cruel comments in subtitles or comments.
- Do not post photos of other people without their permission.
Even if it is the norm, social networks are difficult to navigate, especially when parents are not used to this new world. However, as teenagers go through high school, college and enter the job market, they expect to know how to use these platforms.
Therefore, you do them a service to deny them access to an account. With proper parental control and some common sense, a teenager can use Instagram successfully without any problems.