Is Instagram Safe For Kids? What You Need to Know
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing website that has become one of the most popular social media networks in use today. With various celebrities sharing their pictures and people posting whatever makes them happy, Instagram has become a world of its own, where people do whatever they like. Parents tend to worry if Instagram is safe for their kids or not. Statistics show that over 20% of internet users are on Instagram and over 17% of the children consider Instagram the best social network.
Although it is a very interesting platform that could at times be informative, Instagram could also be used for posting images that are meant only for adults. So, Instagram is not safe for kids. There are several factors you should consider when allowing your children to view some content on the internet and taking internet safety for kids into consideration is very important.
What Parents Need to Know About Instagram
Before you can decide if your child should or should not be using the Facebook-owned social media network, you have to ask yourself some basic questions about the platform itself, and you have to have a very good idea of what the website is all about.
- Direct messages: Instagram users can communicate with each other using direct messages. It has been a way of building several personal and business relationships and is still being used by almost all users. The direct messages also come with several interesting features such as recording voice messages and disappearing messages.
- Video calls: Instagram also allows video calls for up to four people. So, this could be a way to communicate with the entire family when you’re at work. People that are recognized as friends on Instagram are able to make use of this feature.
- Instagram TV: Instagram mobile application allows users to access Instagram TV. There is no way for parents to control their children’s access to IGTV, which shows a variety of content based on individual interest.
- Pornographic content: Due to Instagram being a video and picture-posting platform, several porn actors and the pornography industry are using Instagram as an opportunity to display their content to more people. Your children cannot hide from what is all over Instagram. It is also very easy for your kids to hide what they’ve seen by just deleting their entire search history. Your children are open to various forms of sex videos on Instagram which one can consider as inappropriate.
Age Requirements For Instagram
On Play Store, Instagram is rated as a 12+ app, but everyone agrees that it is better for your kids to start allowing your kids to use it at the age of 13. Even at this tender age, you still have to pay close attention to what your children are doing on the network. If your kids stumble upon pornographic content on the app, there’s an option for them to report the post is considered inappropriate. This would allow Instagram to take note of what should and should not be seen by your kids.
Instagram is at the forefront when it comes to cyberbullying. With people able to comment on whatever posts they see, and how easy it is to find anyone on Instagram, several individuals have taken up this social network as a means to torture others. Cyberbullies follow the people they want to interact with and torture them through their posts, making comments that can destroy a mentally unstable kid.
If your child should encounter cyber bullies on Instagram, you should ensure that they do not pay attention or communicate with the attention seekers. There’s a block button which your kids can use to put them in their place.
With several young ladies trying to look good and feel among the top class, Instagram can destroy the self-esteem of these girls. On Instagram, they would see many other good looking ladies and most times with what they consider as better physical features. This can make your children become depressed and begin to think of ways they could alter their bodies to look like their Instagram celeb.’
Should you Let Your Kids use Instagram?
This depends entirely on you. Instagram could be an educative and also a destructive network. You should only give your children access if they’re going to be closely monitored and if you trust your children enough to tell you things they see and experience.
Internet safety for kids should always be taken into consideration when granting them access to these applications.