Insta Whoa!

Guess how old you have to be for Instagram?!  Ding, ding! You guessed it, 13!  Well not really a guess if you have been following this week’s posts. And you can find their TOS link at the bottom.  I did not read this one in its entirety.   You can catch up on the basics, Snapchat, and so far.  These posts are by no means a substitute for doing your own research and making your own decisions.  I am putting some fun things that I like about the apps and some parenting concerns as well.

I have had an account for over three years and only made 67 posts.  Melaina uses it more to share and view pics of friends and brands or celebrities she likes.  Instagram is a photo sharing social media app.  Take your photo either with your phone or through the app itself, crop, choose your filter, write a caption – don’t forget to include your hashtags – tag people, choose to simultaneously share to other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, add a location or not; and share!

Several brands and celebrities use Instagram to promote.  In my opinion, this one requires some thought on letting your child have an account – *heh-hem once they are 13 or older*.  While you can have your child make their account private, it doesn’t prevent them from viewing the thousands of photos that are public.  And although they expressly state in their TOS, “You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via the Service.” you can find extremely suggestive and racy photos with a tap of the search icon and a word.  For example search ‘kitten’ and you will find one of the most popular to be #kittenplay.  Most adults aren’t even sure what that means let alone a child.  Yes there will be a lot of photos of kittens playing.  You will also see the ones pertaining to people dressed up as kittens.  After searching and tapping a hashtag,  you will see related hashtags across the top.  Using the same example, if you chose #kittenplay a related tag will be #kittenrp (kitten role play). Some of those photos may not be G rated.  If they are hearing certain words or phrases at school – and trust me, they are – and decide to look it up on Instagram, because hey, no internet search history here, they could end up with an eyeful! This app also allows private messaging that can’t be traced if deleted.

If you don’t have a trustworthy and open communication relationship with your child, this one might be better kept on your account and let you put the search terms in and stand-by while they heart their favorites.  In our case we have allowed an account and have not had any issues to date.  And yes, I follow a lot of her friends on there as well. Some pretty entertaining kids I do have to say.


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Instagram Terms of Service

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