Do You Know These 4 Things About Instagram?

The other day, I was looking at pictures with my daughter and father-in-law. He mentioned something about creating instant slideshows from specific events on your phone. And that was all my daughter needed to hear. Within moments, she had slideshows made for all of the albums on my phone—with custom text, titles, and music attached to them!

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Image via Everydayfamily.com

Our kids are learning about apps and games earlier than we realize.

They’re incredibly savvy and in a lot of ways so very lucky to have all of these things at their fingertips. We don’t want to keep them away from these opportunities, but we do need to learn a bit about the popular apps that they are using so that we can help them make great choices while they are on there.

Instagram is often the “gateway app” that kids ask about using first.

Instagram is one popular photo-sharing site where kids can curate moments from their lives, highlight their creativity via photography, captions, and videos and connect with their friends.

So much of what happens on social sites and apps isn't obvious with a quick scroll through our kids’ feeds.

It’s happening inside the comment section of individual photos and inside direct messages (both of these are options on Instagram). 

{ MORE: The 10 Best Apps to Make the Holidays Run Smoothly }

Four things to check inside this app are:

  • How many people and who are they following? Once your child follows someone, they can see all the things that they click “like” on, too.
  • What kind of information are they posting? Not just their actual photos or videos, but also in their captions, their bio lines, and their comments on other peoples’ posts. It’s good to discuss what’s okay and not okay to post in advance.
  • Who are they direct messaging? A lot happens in direct messages. Make sure to check this part.
  • What are they searching for? People post a crazy amount of things on social media and it’s all searchable! You want to know what your kids are curious about and getting exposed to so that you can help them maneuver it all.

I have a guide for you that shows exactly where to look for these things inside Instagram.

It also explains the secret ways that kids use Instagram—it’s very different than the ways that we would use it! You can get this guide by clicking right HERE.

Even though it may seem daunting to keep up with all of the app details, I have found that once you figure out a few apps, the skills that your kids need to have to maneuver them, tend to carry over.

So I recommend letting your kids learn about one app at a time and learn the ins and outs of it with them.

And Instagram is an app that your kids are using or seem interested in, then I hope that this guide is helpful! You can get it by clicking right HERE.

Galit Breen is the author of Kindness Wins, a simple, no-nonsense guide to teaching our kids how to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. Your can get her parents’ guide to Instagram right HERE.

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Do You Know These 4 Things About Instagram?

Galit Breen is the author of Kindness Wins, a simple no-nonsense guide to teaching our kids how to be kind online. She has a master's degree in education and a bachelor's degree in human development and was a classroom and reading teacher for ten years. In 2009, she launched a career as a freelance writer entrenched in social media. Since then, her work has been featured in various online magazines including Brain, Child, The Huffington Post, TIME, and xoJane. Breen lives in Minnesota with her h ... More

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