General Information on Instagram and Children

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Legal provisions relating to Facebook and Instagram

Researching on the internet for legal rules, I found that they are not there. The applications themselves recommend that you use it only when you are 13 years old or older, but an investigation shows: children download it much earlier.

What is so fun about Instagram?

For parents who didn’t live the first moments of Instagram in 2012 and actually have no idea what the application entails, it basically sums up to:

  • You share photos with acquaintances.
  • You can place a filter on that photo to make it more beautiful.
  • Like Facebook, they appear on a timeline.
  • With hashtags you can indicate what is in your photo; therefore, like-minded people can be found faster (#beach brings together all beach lovers and #foodie to all people who are fans of good food).

Nowadays, social influencers also use Instagram extensively. You have to see this group as, for the most part, young people who influence youth. They do so by showing parts of their lives: the person behind the celebrity, but also with fashion statements or the request to help a specific charity.

Instagram is a very positive one between all social networks. Of course, it also depends on who you follow, but your timeline can be full of flowers, children and unicorns.

What are the risks of Instagram?

As with all social networks, it is good to realize that someone could use your public photos.

There is a chat feature, so it can always be the case that an old pervert gets in touch you’re your little daughter, but pretends to be a young boy.

Commenting and liking can be addictive, it is always prudent to emphasize to your child that there are more important things in life than those who have not shared the supper on Tuesday night with their followers.

Through specific hashtags, they can get in touch with dark users (like #ana is used by girls who have anorexia and support each other).

Facebook (the current owner of Instagram) can obtain the photo rights of your own pictures, they can use the photos in ads. Without permission, because you ‘sign’ for it by downloading the application.

Of course, it may come first: this does not have to happen, but it is good to realize that it is more than a simple filter on your photo.

Advice for parents: know how Instagram works

Understanding how the app works will help with your child’s guidance: because you know the application, you also know where the traps are. Let yourself be informed by someone you trust who has knowledge of social networks. If your child wants to have more followers, but you don’t want to take any risks, you can buy quality Instagram followers. This will make your child look popular without risking anyone contacting your daughter.

Make a secret account

Children tend to be faster than their parents with an understanding of new media. Logic: they are much more involved. In this way, a secret account can be created. If you choose a rather unusual name and do not put a profile picture, the possibility is small that it gets discovered.

Even if they are still children. There is a good chance that you will see that the nickname always appears with certain classmates, that they are tagged in a story or photo and that this vague profile adheres to your suggestions.

Rules for an Instagram account

When your child is allowed on Instagram, it’s smart to agree on the rules with each other. In the end, you wouldn’t send your child to a dark park and not let her go without first following specific rules. Give your child space to tell you what he or she knows. With this, you will treat them as an equal interlocutor and also participate more actively in the conversation. Also, your worries will hold up better than when you feel like you’re stuck in an endless sermon.

These are some examples of rules that can be established with your child:

  • Do not add strangers.
  • Know what the risks are and act accordingly.
  • In case of doubt, always come to us or go to another confidant, if you find it more pleasant.
  • Keep your account private.
  • A heart on Instagram does not say much more than that someone likes your photo. It does not make you a better person, and there is also life outside of social networks.

Search together with your partner for what you find important and where the boundaries are.

A significant part of your child’s class is online

Do you feel like a dinosaur who is very careful with technology (and still remembers the typewriter)? A small online study confirms that almost every girl of age 12 has an Instagram account. Although private, still. I also know someone of age 9 that has an account. In this sense, thanks to Instagram algorithms, the application is like a small town.

Is waiting for a good idea?

As with obtaining a mobile phone, this intention also seems to fail. I do not know if it’s bad or not. As a parent, you also have to learn and grow with today’s society, of course, so maybe its stubborn to wait for your child to make an account on social media. As we are in fact the first generation of parents who really have to deal with this, everything is really new.

We all think we have the wisdom, but nobody knows where social media results in ten or twenty years. A positive and loving generation? Or an egocentric group of young adults who think that life only revolves around them?

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