Are your teens using Instagram? Do you understand what it is and how it functions? Instagram has created a new resource for parents with teens who use Instagram. It is called the Parent Guide.
Part of the Parent Guide teaches parents about the options in Instagram that are designed to help keep teens safe. Instagram suggests that parents have a talk with their teen about whether their account is going to be public or private.
Make sure the teen understands that they can have control over who can see and interact with what they post on Instagram.
Users with private accounts must approve the people who follow them. In other words, strangers cannot simply follow your teen’s account. They can request to follow it – but the teen has the ability to accept or refuse them.
Teens can turn off the “show activity status” feature. Doing so prevents their friends from seeing when the teen is online. This may be helpful for teens who want to look at photos without having to interact with friends from school.
Teach you teen how to use the block feature. Your teen can block accounts that they don’t want to interact with. Those accounts could be adults who are not family members. Or, the teen might want to block the accounts of a teen whom they have broken up. It’s always a good idea to block accounts that make the teen feel uncomfortable.
It is possible to manage comments on Instagram. There are filters in Instagram that automatically remove offensive words and phrases and bullying comments. Your teen can crate their own list of words or emojis that they would like to block.
Make sure your teen understands how to report comments and accounts that engage in bullying behavior, that are sending the teen inappropriate comments, or that are threatening violence. Let your teen know that reporting isn’t “tattling”. It is an important tool that will help Instagram remove those who violate it’s rules.