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Instagram is one of the hottest social media apps on the market and they are growing quickly. In the past year alone they have doubled their subscription base and that does not appear to be slowing down. Because the app is used primarily on phones and tablets, it has been particularly popular with the younger crowd for sharing pictures with friends. The problem with Instagram is that it is not meant for kids younger than 13 per their terms of service. Despite this, kids sign up all the time with little to stand in their way. Here are five good reasons why you might want to stop your kid from using Instagram at such a young age:
Instagram is public
Like any other social media site, anyone can see your kid’s pictures if they don’t set the account to private. If the kid posts a picture at the park with friends and the account is set to public, anyone can know where your kid is, what they look like and who they are with. The danger is obvious.
Instagram can be brutal
We have all heard the stories of how social media can hurt a kid. Instagram allows comments on photos and you can be sure that kids will pick on other kids. Bullying is very easy on Instagram despite that not being the purpose for the function. If a kid is not mentally tough, they can quickly develop self esteem issues. Few kids under 13 are mentally tough enough for such thing, right?
Instagram is basically a popularity contest
The kids often use the app to generate likes and comments and popularity is often determined by such silly things. Kids are all about trying to one up each other and this allows for a very public forum to do them. Instagram is not something that a young child should be subjected to while they are learning about their place in the world.
Instagram is a direct portal to Facebook
Instagram is actually owned by Facebook. Facebook stops kids from joining if the child does not lie about their ages, but that is a poor way of doing things. The vast majority of kids that are sneaking and posting a Facebook account are not going to tell the truth about age. Instagram doesn’t even require an age verification at all. It is only a matter of time before a kid will move on over to Facebook, ready or not.
Instagram is not yet parent friendly
Publicly Instagram is saying that they want to keep kids off the site. The truth is they are not remotely trying to do so thus far. The site provides no real road blocks for the kids when they try to sign up, and the parents have no way of restricting the kid’s usage to private. They can set the account private, but the kids can easily switch them back to public as soon as the parents are out of sight.
Although the company is a great idea and will be around for a very long time, they should consider some ways to toughen up the kid policy big time. If they don’t, then a tragedy maybe right around the corner waiting to happen. Hopefully they will do something before that happens.