Instagram and young people: 5 answers for parents
Instagram is a social network or application that serves to publish photos, most of the times edited with different filters. It is an increasingly popular mobile application, especially among young people, who use it constantly, which generates doubts in the parents. What risks do you have? How do I protect my children? The questions of the parents already have an answer.
As explained in the Parent Guide on the Use of Instagram, published by Connect Safely and the Protégeles association, Instagram is one of the many applications that teenagers use to relate to each other as an extension of the social relationships that develop in the real world.
Its main function is that adolescents are in constant contact, so from this association they say that prohibiting the use of social networks can be counterproductive, since perhaps the rest of adolescents marginalize your child. Therefore, it is better learn to use the new technologies well to avoid the dangers of the Internet as much as possible.
Five doubts about Instagram, and their answers
What attracts Instagram teens?
Parents can be surprised that such a simple application has so many followers, but the truth is that it is so and that the popularity of Instagram is increasing, especially among teenagers who even use it as a means of conversation.
Young people what attracts them most about this mobile application is the multimedia content and, especially, to share it with friends, something that Instagram offers in a very intuitive way. The comments, in addition, "are part of a network of conversations in different media," they explain in the guide, in which they say that these comments are another way of relating, like "liking" on Facebook or sharing links on Twittter.
What is the minimum age to have an Instagram account?
According to the general conditions of Instagram, The minimum age to use Instagram is 14 years old, but as in the process of creating an account do not ask the user's years, sometimes younger children access this social network. Of course, if you notify Instagram of a user under that age, the account will be deleted. Even so, this makes it relevant that The security on Instagram depends more on its good use than the age at which an account is created.
Does Instagram have risks?
As with many other things and, especially, with social networks, Instagram by itself is not dangerous, but it does involve certain risks linked to other social networks, such as cyberbullying or the publication of unpleasant images. Parents are also concerned that our children come in contact with strangers, but it is a risk that can be managed with a good use of the application.
How to protect minors on Instagram?
The guide explains that the best way for minors to protect themselves on Instagram is Do not take risks: that they do not publish images or videos that leave them in a bad place, because they will be associated with their image and also, depending on the cases, they could affect other people.
It is essential that Teach your child to be very respectful of the images he shares and publishes, as well as with the comments he leaves in other photographs. It is true that most Instagram users are already aware of all this, but remembering never hurts and it is also the work of parents. Therefore, insist on not upload provocative images to the network and do not treat the strangers badly, to avoid possible "greater evils".
Should the Instagram profile be private?
Any Instagram user can "follow" and see the photos of another person who has a public account, while in private profiles the user must approve someone else to follow him. With this, the most "logical" thing for parents is that their children have a private account, but this clashes with the primary desire of most teenagers on Instagram: have many followers and, therefore, many "like".
Also, even if your child has a private account, the truth is that Another friend could upload a picture in which your son appeared and that it was public, so here it would also be difficult to achieve full protection. Thus, the best thing is to educate him to make responsible use of social networks.
East responsible use is very important, because we must not forget the dangers of hooking to social networks, and that the images that are uploaded can end anywhere, since there are multiple ways to access them. Teach your child never to post anything that may bring him problems of any kind, from the shame that others see it to more serious problems, and that avoid uploading images to the web that say too much about it: photos of what it does, the places it goes to, the food it takes. It is better to avoid it, at least to the extent possible.
Angela R. Bonachera