Dec 03, 2017
With the popularity of its Stories functionality, Instagram more closely resembles Snapchat. Up until now, Instagram had been a venue dedicated to flawless photos of landscape portraits, fashion shoots and fancy food shots. Users with the best images were the most popular, discouraging the use of everyday images.
Instagram Stories changes all of that by encouraging people to post a realistic snapshot of their everyday lives – and to post frequently. That allows users to be more interactive on Instagram.
What does this mean for your kids? Here are the pros and cons that parents need to know about Instagram Stories:
- Children will have more freedom to be themselves rather than being intimidated that their photos are unworthy of Instagram. She won’t have the same pressure to be “picture perfect.”
- Your child will have the ability to block viewers from seeing his Stories, unlike Snapchat.
- Instagram Stories do not have “like” or public comment capabilities, creating a more relaxed atmosphere for sharing.
- This means that kids will be less likely to engage in risky behavior or become victims of bullying.
- Your child can set her Instagram account to private to block unwanted viewers.
- This release will likely attract more kids to Instagram, creating another social media for parents to monitor.
- Users do not have the ability to see who takes screenshots of their Stories, preventing your child from knowing who shares her images.
- All comments are now private, which may put your child at risk. It also makes it more difficult for you to discover any problems they are having with comments.
- For Instagram users who are trying to build an audience, such as if your teen has a blog, their audience automatically can see their stories. These kids need to understand the risks of sharing too much of their personal life.
- Your child can block you, making it impossible to monitor what they are sharing.
Anyone over 13 can now use Instagram Stories to share their life in a judgment free setting. However, these new abilities come with risks as well. If your child wants to use Instagram, make sure she understands those risks and takes extra care to be safe with these changes. It is never too late to set up boundaries for how your child uses social media. Consider creating a family contract on house rules for digital device usage. If you use parental controls like Net Nanny parental controls like Net Nanny combined with a digital contract your family will have the right tools in place to help keep your family safe online and when using an app.
Gina Badalaty is a lifestyle blogger for moms raising kids with special needs. She is passionate about living a nontoxic life, inclusion for kids with disabilities and technology to help kids thrive.