Instagram is a place where the younger, technological generation come to share stories with friends and post photos of where they are and where they’ve been; it’s where they come to connect.
What we don’t tend to see are the adverse effects that social media can have on young people, particularly in terms of mental health. Mental health can deteriorate due to many reasons, such as comparisons of self to other people, seeing unrealistic body physiques, comparing likes to your friends’, and more.
Reach Out and Instagram have collaborated to provide parents with a guide on how to protect their children from bullying (e.g. blocking accounts, managing comments), manage their use, and control their privacy settings when using Instagram.
For many parents, social media can be challenging because it’s not something they grew up with, and platforms and safety features are constantly changing.” said CEO of ReachOut Australia, Ashely Da Silva
The guide explains to readers that Instagram users can start off by deciding between having a private or public account. Of course, by declaring your account as a private one makes it more secure, and means that people have to request to follow you. This is to avoid having complete strangers follow you.
Users can also block accounts in order to deny them the right to see their posts, stories and activity.
This is a particularly important feature when it comes to harassment and bullying. If your child has been receiving hurtful comments, it’s important to know how to deal with it. Of course, as previously mentioned, these accounts can be blocked as well as individual comments, but they can also be reported. Reporting is anonymous, so the user of the reported account won’t even know who reported them.
To prevent this from even happening, users can control who comments on their posts. Simply go to “Comment Controls” in the app’s settings and set the “Allow Comments From” to “From People I Follow” or remove them completely.
Additionally, Instagram will now pick up on hurtful comments before they’re posted, and will warn the user that is trying to post that comment, meaning that the person has a chance to undo their comment. Hurtful comments can be automatically removed or specifically filtered to the user’s preferences.
If you child doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable with blocking someone, they can restrict someone. Restricted accounts can comment, but only the will see that comment, and they will not be able to see if you’ve read a direct message or you’re activity.
As a parent you’ll be able to check how much your child has spend using Instagram during the day as well as during the week. To control this, your child can set a daily reminder to let me them know when they’ve reached the amount of time they wanted to spend on Instagram. Your child can turn this off or change it as they please.
On top of that, the guide also provides 5 Tips To Help Parents Support Their Teen With Social Media:
- Stay up to date with the social media they’re using and know how it works.
- Talk with your teen regularly about online issues, and make sure they know that they can come to you no matter what (even if they’ve broken the rules).
- Make sure your teen knows how to block, delete or report anyone who is upsetting them online. Keep in mind that bullying and cyberbullying can be something that occurs within friendship groups and by people that your teenager may consider to be their friend.
- Although it’s pretty normal now to make new friends online, encourage your teen to think about who they share their personal details with.
- Treat cyberbullying as a serious issue, so that your teen doesn’t stay quiet if it happens to them or their friends.
Download and read the full guide at https://au.reachout.com to learn more about the above features in detail, what Instagram is, and other tips at the end.