Another quick chat about the social media app called Instagram. I love instagram. It is a natural fit for me because I could look at photographs all day. It is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family (and favorite bloggers) all over the globe because it is quick and very user friendly. However, there is a learning curve for children (and adults). Here are some of the tips I have shared with my kids on how to use it responsibly.
* Instagram’s purpose is to share inspiring and interesting photographs. Not photos of what underwear you have on or yet another “duckface” picture of yourself and your besties. Use discretion and ask yourself….”is this interesting? Is this inspiring? Is this kind hearted?” And as for sharing the newest and greatest thing you have…think of it like this: beginning of the school day, kids are gathering in the classroom. …you walk in the classroom and shout out “hey hey everyone look at my new shirt!!! It’s from that super popular store in the mall!!! Like it up peeps!!!!”. Sharing that on instagram is just the same as doing that. No need to boast. It’s pretty tacky.
* Unfortunately, there will always be folks who abuse the system. There will always be children (and adults) who have a harder time being nice. And as I have said before, if they aren’t nice to you in person, they will not be nice online. Distance yourself from people that bring you down.
* Naturally, I love instagram….because I love photos. Each one tells a story. It is also a really fun way to get a peek at how people go about there day—and fun behind the scenes of projects from your favorite bloggers. Use it to find out more about your favorite hobby.
* Be mindful that any picture you place on instagram (or anywhere else online) can be copied and used no matter if you are following that person or not. There is a function on all smartphones called “screen capture” …meaning that someone can swipe any picture online of you…and use it. Be mindful and conscience of that fact. So what I tell my kids is…if you wouldn’t walk into church and do exactly what you are doing in that photograph….then don’t post it. Your priest can see it too. (Totally makes them think before posting ;)
* If someone is posting a picture that is demeaning or rude, report them. Instagram is pretty good about taking away accounts when they see the system being abused.
* Technology will only get more confusion. The objective is to help your kids navigate and use it with the best intentions. How will you teach them how to use it…if you don’t know yourself? Take time to learn…because technology will only keep getting more advanced. To ignore that it is there…is to be ignorant of it’s power.
* It is ok to be funny. Funny is always good…when it is done from a place of kindness.
* Use the comment section to agree or enlighten the conversation.
* Keep your account on private. Easiest way to detract the haters. You will be asked to “approve” someone before they can follow you.
* Encourage kids to look past numbers and rankings. It is not an easy task…but weather you realize it or not they listen to you and they soak in that advice when they need it most.
* In Instagram’s mission statement….they wish for “the World to be connected through photographs”. It is a beautiful thing…being able to search a #hashtag for #rome and see this (by user donodaria)
….The world becomes a smaller place. And maybe we will connect with it a bit easier when tragedy strikes. That is a win win for everybody.
What would you add to this list?