ARTICLES, INTERNET SAFETY. FACTS ABOUT CYBER BULLYING
Instagram Wants to Help Educate Parents
Do you have a youngster who’s already registered for Instagram? Maybe you’re hesitant about allowing them to sign up because you’re not sure how the app works or because you think they’re too young. According to a survey about social media use conducted this past January by the Pew Reseach Center, Instagram was found to be the second most used social media in the United States. With Instagram only continuing to grow, it wants to reach younger users by teaching parents how to protect their kids.
The Parent’s Guide
Recently, Instagram launched their Parent’s Guide to help them understand what the platform is all about and how it works. It explains what Instagram is for parents who might not know what it’s all about. Alongside imagery, it explains how privacy, interactions, and managing time on the app work.
Ten questions are found at the end of the document to use to talk to your teen about the app. Also included are quotes from teen users about why they enjoy the app, and how their parents help keep them safe while using it.
The guide starts off with a “Letter From The Parents Of Instagram”:
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a parent. We know from research that many parents have concerns about their teen’s safety online, and as parents who also work at Instagram, we want to address those concerns.
It’s with our teens in mind that we go into work every day. Parenting is both an awesome responsibility and an amazing opportunity. For all of the incredible opportunities parenting brings, there are some challenging ones too — we’re raising the first generation of digital natives, for whom the online world is just as important as the offline one.
We know that as a parent it may be hard to understand what your teen is doing online and why they’re spending so much time on their phones. While it might seem like posting photos and videos is second nature for teens, many of them actually put a lot of thought into what they share online. It’s hard to know how to have an open conversation with our teens and keep them safe while we’re learning to navigate the landscape ourselves. We share these concerns, as does everyone who works at Instagram.
That’s why we’ve created this guide. We know it might feel daunting to have these conversations with your teens. We want to make sure you feel equipped with the tools you need to start the dialogue and hope this guide will make things a little easier.
We feel a great responsibility to make sure Instagram is a supportive community for teens to connect and share, and we want to make sure you as a parent feel informed and empowered to help guide them. We believe that the first step is understanding why they use Instagram, and what tools are available to make sure their experience is positive, intentional and safe. For more information, and to watch a video where we explain these tools for you, go toparents.instagram.com.
When it comes to privacy, the guide goes on to explain how you can make your account private so only those who follow you can see your posts. It also shows how to block a user that you don’t want to interact with you.
Speaking of interacting, the guide goes into managing interactions. You can control who can comment on their photos and videos, and block certain people or all people from commenting on your posts. You also have the ability to stop comments with words that you set from appearing on your posts.
We all know that time is important, and so does Instagram. They show how you can track your time and even set a daily reminder to set a limit on how much time you want to spend on Instagram. You can even mute your push notifications after that time limit, so you’re not tempted to open it when a notification pops up.
Ten Simple Questions
Instagram also partnered up with social media and education expert Ana Homayoun, M.A., P.P.S., author of SocialMedia Wellness, to create a list of ten questions that you can use to talk to your teen about their app and how they use it. They’re intended to create a positive discussion.
- What do you like about Instagram?
- What do you wish I knew about Instagram?
- What are the top five Instagram accounts that you enjoy following?
- What are some things you think about before you post something on Instagram?
- If you have multiple Instagram accounts, what do you share in each account?
- How do likes and comments affect how you feel about a post?
- Do you know your followers? (If your teen has a private account, ask them how they decide who follows them.) What do you do when someone you don’t know tries to contact you via direct message?
- How do you feel about the amount of time you spend online?
- Have you ever felt uncomfortable with something you saw or an experience you had online?
- What would you do if you saw someone being bullied on Instagram? (Do you know about the reporting tools and the offensive comment filter on Instagram?)
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center also expressed their support to parents.com: “We love the final resource Instagram put together and know that it will help many parents navigate this important conversation with their child. Instagram really is creating a kinder and safer online space for everyone!”