Get savvy about what and how your teen is posting on Instagram.
Posted in , Dec 2, 2014
We all love to share photos about our lives and our families, and today’s technology is helping do that in ways we never imagined.
Instagram is a great way to share our lives through pictures with others worldwide, but teens and tweens are using it for more than photo sharing. For teens, Instagram is all about the competition of numbers–the number of followers, comments and the number of likes.
Hashtags, which are words or phrases preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic and facilitate a search for it, are used to get those numbers up quickly. Hashtags #love, #me, #selfie, #girl, #instagood are a few of the popular ones.
Most parents feel that Instagram is a good alternative for their kids, whom they feel are too young to have a Facebook account. But some parents don’t realize that teens can connect and communicate with strangers through their comments on Instagram.
Anyone can follow an Instagram account if you don’t have your account set to private. Then there are the photos that the teens are sharing, the provocative selfies (photos that they take of themselves) that get a lot of likes and a ton of comments.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Join Instagram and follow your daughter or granddaughter. This will let her know that you see what photos are being uploaded, and you can like and read her comments.
Talk to her about modesty when she posts selfies. We, as a culture, have allowed celebrities, contemporary music artists and reality stars to set the standards for our teens.
When the celebrities post nude or suggestive photos and get positive responses, our teen daughters who are looking for positive responses from others are going to follow suit.
Make sure you take time to praise your daughter daily on her accomplishments and give her the positive responses she needs from home.
Keep your daughter or granddaughter safe. There is a feature on Instagram where you can share the location of where you took the picture.
If you choose the location, the app brings you to a map and a small dot exactly where you were when you took the picture. Make sure the feature remains off.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17, NIV)