Instagram: To Allow, Or Not Allow? That Is The Question We Parents Face
After I gave a brief Introduction to Instagram in Part I of this series and then let you in on 10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Instagram in Part II, this is the third and final part to this Instagram series for parents where I actually make a case for allowing Instagram.
Here, you find out why I am actually throwing caution to the wind and ALLOWING my daughter to use Instagram as a tween.
Why I’m Allowing My Child To Use Instagram Anyway
- Even though we talk every night, as her follower, I get to know her in a different way.
- I know what she’s doing – which is innocent and cool.
- I am seeing her use it to express herself creatively – she thinks super creatively and out of the box on how to present her photos. Taking four pictures of friends and grouping all like photos into one photo or taking a video and using stop motion to capture an action shot. I’m amazed at her creative genius; this alone is worth it to me. Yes, she may see inappropriate things, but she’ll see and hear those things at school or on the internet anyway, so I don’t care. The creative aspect of capturing just the right moment seems to be a social challenge the kids have accepted.
- She connects with her friends near and far. I know most parents don’t get it; they think that texting and face-timing isn’t really connecting, but they are missing something. Our children are connecting in ways we never got to. They are connecting with more people on a social basic level than we ever did at that age and connecting to friends in a real way. Yes, I’m a “cybermom;” I live and work in the cyber world. So I do see things differently. Granted, it doesn’t take the place of face to face, but that can’t always be.
- I trust her.
Letter to my Tween
You can only use this service if your photos are private and you understand your comments on friend photos are public. Know that anything you post could be broadcast for the entire WORLD to see at anytime (thanks to print screen), so NOTHING is private. Sex Offenders, yup – I know you hate it when I talk about this stuff, but it’s true and therefore our WORST nightmare. Sex Offenders are on Instagram – don’t let anyone follow you unless you know them personally. Sex offenders can even pretend to be a friend, taking their photos and their identities, so get VERBAL confirmation when meeting someone. Bullying, it happens and on Social Networks like Instagram, too. I’m not going to make you get off Instagram for this as long as you agree to tell me when it happens. Obviously, don’t share your photo location. And if you don’t allow me to follow you or to check your phone, you will NOT be on Instagram. It’s not a right; it’s a privilege.
So there you have, it — my personal notes and opinions on Instagram and why I allow it for my tween (with clearly established rules). Feel free to share in the comments below why you do or don’t allow Instagram for your child!