Teenagers like Instagram so much
After Facebook, Instagram is the most used social network by Spanish teenagers. Why do kids like such a simple photo application so much? This could be the first question you ask yourself as a parent but we are sure you have more.
For example, what is the minimum age to have an account, how can I protect my child from the risks involved? Before you demonize it, though, think of it as a clever, free app with a quick and easy interface that helps develop children’s creativity. Gossiping about their peers, being admired by others, following their favorite celebrities… These are some of the reasons teenagers like Instagram.
It serves as a showcase for them to see the world of those around them (and admire them) and as an album to showcase their own. But it’s precisely the ease of use and the ability to quickly change the look of photos (using filters, focus or brightness) that makes our kids’ lives look more incredible than they really are in this application.
And that’s what they’re really after. Sharing photos is all about gaining popularity and liking others, and on Instagram it’s not only intuitive to upload images, but relatively easy to gain followers – and compliments – from others. However, just as this happens, it is also likely to receive negative comments that can be hurtful.
If your child uses this app, make sure he or she knows how to comment respectfully and has the tools to deal with “haters” (those who disparage, defame, or destructively criticize a person on the Internet). Some kids feel pressured to constantly give an idealized picture of their lives on Instagram.
For this reason, as reported by The New York Times, some create alternative accounts called “Finstagrams” (fake + Instagram) where they share photos with more authentic versions of themselves (in regular clothing or a silly expression) that only trusted friends can see. This indicates that kids feel the need to show their true selves, but they don’t want to ruin the perfect image they show in their “real Intagram” (or Rinstagram).
A Parent’s Guide to Using Instagram
If you have questions about how to warn your child about the risks of this application, Instagram, in collaboration with Connect Safely and Protégeles, has developed a guide for parents on how to use Instagram that you can download here. Also, as a parent, you should know that in Instagram, photos and videos are public by default and may have location information.
So it’s important for kids to use their privacy settings to limit their followers and the kind of information they share. Once this is done, you should also explain that the best way to protect themselves on this network is not to take any risks: do not post provocative photos or videos or let them get in the wrong place, because they will be associated with your image forever and in some cases, they could affect other people, as the guide says according to the blog.
Also, the application is recommended for people over 14 years old, but when creating the account, the user’s years are not asked, so with a little bit of mischief, younger children can access the social network. However, if a minor’s account is detected and the Instagram team is notified, it will be deleted immediately. To answer questions such as how to report bullying on Instagram, or how to request the removal of a photo of your child, Instagram has set up a page with tips for parents that address these and other issues.
Come and visit their page to know where to find free instagram likes.