What Affect is Instagram Having on Our Kids?
It’s no secret that social media has a profound effect on the way we live our lives.
But what about our kids?
How is Instagram – and other social media platforms – impacting their development?
Here, we will explore the pros and cons of Instagram use among children and teenagers.
We will also offer some tips for parents who are struggling to navigate this complex digital landscape.
1. What is Instagram and how does it work?
Instagram is a photo-sharing application that allows users to post photos, add hashtags and follow others. Users can also leave comments on their friends’ posts.
Instagram was founded in 2010 and has more than 800 million users in the world today.
2. What are some of the positive aspects of Instagram?
Though Instagram has been criticised for promoting unrealistic images, there are many benefits for society as a whole when it comes to social media platforms like this one:
Promotes Self-Expression: In an age when young people face tremendous pressure from all sides, they need a safe space to express themselves and work through their emotions.
By creating an online identity through selfies and other images, teens gain confidence and learn how to stand up for themselves.
Creates Community: Social media platforms like Facebook offer opportunities for people near and far to communicate with one another, no matter how great the distance.
Instagram, in particular, allows for instant communication and connection through the hashtags used by its participants. It can also serve as a way for young people to feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves.
Source of inspiration: Instagram offers a tremendous source of inspiration for younger generations.
Users can find everything from style and fitness inspiration to learn about new interests and hobbies.
This is particularly beneficial during adolescence when young people are trying to figure out who they want to be in the world.
3. What are some negative aspects of using Instagram?
While there are certainly benefits to social media platforms like Instagram, experts agree that they create unrealistic expectations when it comes to physical appearance and worthiness.
- It can lead to feelings of insecurity and comparison.
- It can be addictive and addictive behaviors can be difficult to break.
- It can be a platform for cyberbullying.
- It can be a source of misinformation.
When it comes to social media, parents and children cannot afford to go in blind - all of the above are reasons to proceed with caution, especially when it comes to younger children.
Is Instagram safe for kids and teenagers?
Generally speaking, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook offer positive and negative aspects for children based on their age group:
Children under the age of 13: Social media platforms generally say that users must be at least 13 years old in order to create an account.
Despite these rules, many younger children do gain access to such accounts.
Teens between the ages of 14-17: Teenagers in this age range face a different set of challenges when it comes to social media.
In 2013, researchers found that teens who had multiple accounts (more than two) were at a higher risk of depression and anxiety.
For these reasons, parents may wish to monitor their child's social media use by setting certain limits on their access such as only allowing access to Facebook or Instagram on phones that are in the parental control setting parameters.
Parents can also choose which apps they allow their child access to in this manner; the rules should be well-defined, leaving no confusion about what is allowed and what isn't when it comes to social media use.
4. What are some tips for parents whose kids use Instagram?
Parents of children who are on Instagram can feel at a loss as to how to help them; how do you guide your child when they’re using an extremely popular social media platform that is mostly controlled by strangers?
Here are some helpful guidelines:
Model good behavior: Children learn by example - if you want your child to respond positively to social media, then it’s important that you do the same.
Lead by example and focus on positivity.
Prioritise face-to-face relationships: The internet has tremendous benefits, but nothing will ever replace true human connection entirely.
Make sure your children prioritise face-to-face relationships and that these interactions are always seen as more important than online ones.
Remember that your kids are still young: They may act like adults (on occasion), but they most definitely aren’t.
Let them explore social media at their own pace; trust them to make good choices, but also remember that you might need to step in when things get out of hand or inappropriate content is present.
What effect does Instagram have on the well-being of your children?
Instagram offers many opportunities for connection with other users around the world. It can be a place where people feel valued and accepted among peers.
However, it also has negative aspects such as cyberbullying, misinformation and unrealistic expectations about physical appearance and worthiness.
Researchers agree that social media platforms like Instagram create unrealistic expectations when it comes to physical appearance and worthiness.
If children misperceive their own attractiveness, it can lead to feelings of insecurity and comparison.
It can also create an unrelenting desire for social approval by creating what is known as the "Compare & Despair"- effect.
This means that when people see images of other more conventionally attractive or wealthier people on Instagram, they feel inferior in comparison.
However, seeing adverts for more aesthetically pleasing versions of themselves (ie. beauty products) will make them even more insecure about their appearance since they can never achieve these idealised standards.
This cycle continues until users are left feeling inadequate with no way out.
For this reason, it's important that parents monitor their child’s social media use in addition to creating clear but flexible rules about their behaviour online.
This includes not only how they respond to others, but what types of content they are exposed to on a regular basis.
In short, Instagram has the potential to be positive and rewarding for users in a multitude of ways.
However, it can also create a sense of inadequacy that may lead your children into harmful behaviours such as comparing themselves with other users and engaging in negative attention-seeking behaviour.
Instagram has large benefits when used correctly; however, it is important that parents monitor their child’s social media use so they know exactly what kind of content they are looking at and can offer help and support if necessary.
Instagram is a powerful social media platform that can have both positive and negative effects on our kids.
It's important for parents to be aware of these effects and to monitor their children's use of the app.
By doing so, we can help ensure that our kids are using Instagram in a healthy way and that they're not being negatively influenced by it.