I am the Mum of two children (16 and 12), so when my daughter badgered me to join Instagram and follow her I thought “can’t hurt at least I’ll know what she’s doing”. So I joined and I followed a few people who followed me and I posted pictures of family and things that interested me such as macro shots of flowers. My son joined it too and is mainly concerned about having more followers than my daughter than anything else. This is where the danger starts to creep in though because there is no restriction on age for one and I have seen children as young as 7 on it posting pictures and also the “followback” mentality that is pushed means they turn that little button green without looking to see if the posts are suitable.
So, are they suitable???? In some cases NOT AT ALL! There are two things that are seriously worrying me; 1 – there are very young girls posting provocative and revealing pictures of themselves for ANYONE who cares to follow them to see! And 2 – there are “users” who are posting content that is pretty much soft porn without any regard for who is following them!
I found myself being followed by “an unknown” let’s say. When I looked at their profile they were only following 6 people – me, my son, my daughter and 3 of these “soft porn” users. Needless to say “WARNING!!!” flashed in my head. This person had no profile details or picture, hadn’t posted any pictures themselves so you couldn’t tell who they were and at that time no followers.
I made my children “block” the user as I was very concerned but I kept an eye on it for the next two days. This user continued to follow other “soft porn” as well as other young girls. Worryingly, 2 of those young girls followed back!
I myself blocked them too only to find out an hour or so later, quite by chance, that this user was actually the 12yr old son of a friend of mine.
I am appalled that there are many news reports about the “over sexualisation of our children” yet this can blatantly be happening without any control on Instagram! Not only are girls (and possibly boys I haven’t looked to see) posting sexualised images of themselves for “anyone” to see but people such as “bits and biddies”are purposely posting images unsuitable for children!
Now “boys will be boys” I know but there is something very different to years ago when they would “get a crafty look at a top shelf magazine” to the blatant sexual images they can download on their phone in secrecy!
Is it me, or are people now more concerned about “how much fame or followers” they can get than what is actually right or wrong?
So come on Instagram, sort it out! I for one love using Instagram to see the world through the eyes of others, see places I will never otherwise get to see but there are those degrading the spirit of it’s origin not to mention taking advantage of the innocence of youth. The world is an expansive technological one but it must remain a moral one or the next generation will become a lost one!