Instagram is a photography app that is used with a smart phone. You snap a photo, edit it, and then share it online with your network. The social networking part it is where the real appeal lies. There are loads of photo editing apps out there, but the social network attached to Instagram is what reels people in and what keeps people using it.
As an Instagram user you can follow people (meaning their photos will be on your Instagram home page) and they can follow you back. Following people in this way enables you to “like” or comment on their photos.
Instagram is pretty big in our house right now. I use it regularly, and so does one of my daughters. I’m ok with her using Instagram. I think photography is a great way for kids to express themselves creatively, and this is something I like to encourage. The social media side of it makes me a little more wary.
Here’s what parents need to know:
It’s also good idea to make your child’s account private, otherwise anyone signed into Instagram can view photos on a public user's profile (which is easily accessed at www.instagram.com/username).
If the private setting is turned on, anyone who wants to see your child's photos will have to send a follow request, at which point it can be either approved or ignored.
It’s a good idea for you and your child to learn how to use Instagram together. If you know how to use it, you know what the features are and how they work. For example, Instagram gives users the ability to block other users and the blocked user cannot view your child's photos or search for their Instagram account. And it helps to know that the blocked user is not notified when they are blocked. Phew.
As a parent, my job is to:
That subtly lets her know that I’m in the loop, and a pretty hip mama to boot! (Ha ha.) Are you on Instagram? Are your kids? Do you have guidelines at home? We’d love to hear about them.
Looking for some tips about social media sharing? We have a tip sheet for you right here.
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