Our Complete Guide to Instagram
Icon News Feed: InstaFeed
Teens can see the best moments in their friends lives, follow celebs, and get inspired when it comes to their interests and hobbies.
Filter Icon: Filters
Teens love to experiment with filters and can transform photos into professional quality images.
Hashtag Icon: Hashtags
Anyone can easily upload content—whether it’s any good is a whole other matter.
Teens can create stories with photos and videos that will post to the post to the top of your followers’ feeds. You can tag your friends, initiate a poll, and ask questions. These Insta Stories disappear within 24 hours.
Teens use the direct messaging feature to share photos amongst a smaller group of friends.
What Parents Should Know
Because Instagram is “the place” to post the best photos, teens can get anxious about the number of likes and comments they receive which can make them especially body conscious when posting images of themselves.
With social status measured by the number of likes and followers, teens who rack up a large following gain social currency. Teens often accept follow requests from strangers in the quest to appear popular. Teens expect their friends to show support for their posts with likes and comments, so when a post doesn’t perform well, teens will remove it in embarrassment. These highly curated profiles perpetuate the ‘perfect life’ syndrome.
Teens feature only their content which makes Instagram a favorite vehicle for self expression.
Porn/ Inappropriate Content
If your teen follows major sports stars or celebrities, he or she may get inappropriate follow requests with graphic hashtags.
Because of the social pressure many teens feel about what they post, some create private accounts known as “FINSTAs” or Fake Instagram accounts so they can be more real with friends.
How do I monitor my teen on Instagram?
No one wants another full-time job, but parents are well-advised to monitor their teens’ social media accounts. The extent to which you do this is totally personal preference and based on your own parenting philosophy. Here are 7 methods:
How do I make sure my teen’s account is private?
With a public account, anyone can follow your teen, but with a private account, your teen must first approve someone’s request.
Parents who want to protect their teens’s privacy should ensure his or her account is set to private:
What Should I do if my child is being bullied or harassed?
What can I do if my teen is receiving inappropriate follow suggestions?
It’s nearly impossible to shield a teen from inappropriate content on Instagram. While the secrets to the algorithms are closely guarded, it is not unlikely that your teen will encounter some explicit content if he or she follows celebrities with big followings.
However, you can change the settings on your teen’s account and disable Similar Account Suggestions so that your teen stops receiving inappropriate suggestions for who to follow. Here’s how:
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, prohibits social media sites from collecting personal data from children under 13 without parental consent. Instead of fulfilling the onerous requirements to obtain parental consent, social media companies elected to set 13 as the minimum age to use their platforms.
While it’s not illegal for children under 13 to use social media, there are the privacy and appropriate use concerns to consider. According to child psychologists, children under 13 are typically not developmentally ready to handle the complexities that arise with social media from posting etiquette and oversharing, to analyzing truth and validity.
A child’s readiness depends on his or her level of maturity and how prepared he or she is to handle the responsibility. Parents are well-advised to educate themselves and their children on the potential issues and be prepared to regularly engage with their children to discuss social media use.