Is Instagram Safe For Kids

11:06 AM

Every parent wants to know is Instagram OK for kids. 
Even with Instagram parental controls it's important to teach our kids how to use social media wisely.

girl taking photo with phone shows the importance of instagram parental controls

Instagram Parental Controls 

Aren't The Answer

We're the first generation of parents and teachers raising digital kids not having been digital kids ourselves. This means that we don't have the wisdom and lessons from our own parents and teachers to rely on as we think about letting our kids enter the murky social media waters. Millennial and VProud intern Caitlin Kells reflects on an uber interesting conversation about this topic between a Gen-X mom and a millennial mom. The interplay between the differences in opinions and experiences of the two moms mixed with the opinion of not-yet-a-mom Caitlin is so fascinating. The bottom line is this: Parental control are not the answer. In fact, there isn't a simple answer to is Instagram safe for kids. All parents need to be super involved in teaching their kids how to use Instagram safely and wisely. These are skills that do come with practice and direct lessons. Read to see what Caitlin makes of the moms' discussion and what she gleans is important in this ongoing conversation.
—The VProud Team

two girls on phones begs the question is instagram safe for kids

What Parents Need To Know About Instagram

Growing up in the digital age is a new and unexplored world. There seems to be a new product, a new update, or a new app every time we blink. Children who are becoming adults in this time in society are now exposed to the outside world in so many more ways than ever before. There are many debates over whether this is a positive or a negative thing. Do we protect our children from the scary and unkind people out there or do we let them wander the internet and find out for themselves? A perfect example of an app that is revealing the potential harms of social media to kids is Instagram. A social media sharing platform, Instagram allows for anyone to create an account and post pictures with captions and comments for all of your followers to see. Instagram has created the perfect environment for things like cyberbullying, body shaming, and trolls among other things. So this begs the question every mother is wondering: is Instagram safe for kids?

As SociallyActive reports in their article about a what parents should know about Instagram, it is true that many malicious users have ruined what could have been a very simple way to share pictures with family and friends. However, it is possible to create an account that is private. This means that only those who you choose will be able to see or comment on your pictures. Does this change things? If parents monitor their kids accounts and make sure that they are not following nor being followed by anyone they do not personally know this can ensure a certain sense of safety. There are no Instagram parental controls other than making sure you constantly check in on your child’s account and inspect what is going on, who they are following and what they are posting.

Instead Of Keeping Kids Away From Social Media, Teach Them How To Use It Wisely

The dangers of social media are real, there is no two ways about it. But think about the flip side for a second. Technology is not going away anytime soon. When children of millennial mothers grow up, some of the requirements to get a good job are going to be in the know of how to work apps. Think about it, there are entire companies behind each one of the apps like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. As much as we might not like it, the world is beginning to revolve around social media. Would we be doing our kids a disservice by depriving them of learning the ins and outs of these networks? Of course we don’t want our kids to become obsessed with these accounts, but maybe we should explore the benefits of having them.

About the author: Caitlin Kells is a VProud intern.

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