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Instagram Support for Teens: a Parent’s Guide to Make Them Feel Informed

Shalini Chakraborty
Shalini Chakraborty
A literature enthusiast. Self-proclaimed feminist and loves to read on and about feminism. Avid thinker and writer of obscure feelings. Interested in photography and loves spending time on social media.

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The twenty-first century is a time when children are more akin to fumbling with smartphones than play with their fellow mates. Community building for kids is now mostly based on a number of friends on Facebook and a number of followers on Instagram. In this digital age, teens are vulnerable to lose themselves in the flood of virtual posts. As parents, it is natural to worry about your ward’s safety in these social media platform. This is why Instagram launched a new feature called A Parent’s Guide to help users analyze how much time they spend on the network, and today the company has published a new guide specifically focused on helping parents help their kids use the service responsibly.

The guide mainly focuses on three things:

How to manage privacy, interactions and time on Instagram. There’s a basic of the app included in the guide with the description of all the tools including a basic guide for the parents to have a conversation with their teens about Instagram.” The discussion questions were developed in collaboration with education and social media expert, Ana Homayoun, M.A., P.P.S., and are designed to help parents and guardians learn more about how teens are using Instagram and to ensure they’re using the app in a positive way”, says Instagram on their blog post.

Privacy part is pretty straightforward – it mainly focuses on who can see the account in public and private setting respectively and how it can be controlled by the user.

“I work at Instagram, and I’m also a parent. That’s the lens I bring into the office each day, just like many other parents who work here. We know the social media landscape will continue to change, and we’re committed to being here every step of the way to make sure parents and their teens have the tools they need to make the choices that are right for them” – Marne Levine, Chief Operating Officer of Instagram.

Instagram has recently been conscious about how much control the users have on the comments posted on their pictures, so the second focus is mainly on that. Currently one can choose specific groups that can comment on posts, remove comments entirely, block specific people from viewing or leaving comments, report abusive comments and automatically filter comments that Instagram deems potentially offensive.

As Instagram’s latest development focuses on making their users conscious about the amount of time they are spending on the app, their final tool takes care of that. It shows how much time you spend in the app on average, with specific details for the past week. From there, you can set reminders when you pass a certain pre-set time limit and mute notifications for different amounts of time.

According to the pictures posted on Twitter, Instagram has made lists of “5 THINGS TO ASK YOUR KID ABOUT INSTAGRAM” and “5 WAYS TO CONTROL YOUR INSTAGRAM EXPERIENCE” as guidelines to parents to learn and check their teen’s use of Instagram.


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