“Mom, can I have an Instagram account?”
Until very recently, Facebook was the first social media account sought by elementary school-aged kids aware that connecting with their friends. This is despite the fact that Facebook guidelines state it is only for users aged 13 and over (any kid that can subtract 13 from the current year and tick off a box can get around this). And although Facebook is still very much alive and well with tweens and teens, the granddaddy of social media has tracked a decrease among its youngest users, with a significant number of kids as young as seven are turning to Instagram, Whatsapp, Kik and Snapchat for their first “grown-up” accounts.
Instagram is a picture-sharing social network, where users set up their own accounts, share images with followers, edit the images with different filters and digital effects, and share, like or comment on each other’s images. Instagram has enjoyed the popularity of the “selfie” (images you take yourself, usually with a smartphone or tablet device), and users enjoy how easy it to share pictures and video with a comment or two, mention other users so they get notified, indicate where the image was taken, and include hashtags (search terms preceded by a #).
Instead of telling your kid “no” when they ask about Instagram, etc, why don’t you say “yes” and take the opportunity to teach your child how to use social media properly! That way they’ll be better prepared to appropriately use social media when you can’t be monitoring their use as closely anymore. In addition to open conversation, clear expectations, and some strict privacy policies, here are 10 Instagram accounts that will enrich your child’s experience and add some meaning among the barrage of selfies from their friends.
I. @iamkidpresident : your kids learn to become awesome!
II. @thisisteen : remind your kids, it’s still cool to read.
III. @livelokai : teach your kids, balance is essential in a world that increasingly expects perfection.
Photo contest: Wearing your red lokai , share a fun, creative photo showing how you embrace your inner child. Jump for joy, have a snowball fight, make a goofy face – there’s no right or wrong (just don’t forget to use #livelokai). 100 winners will receive a child sponsored in their name for a year, through @SavetheChildren. You’ll also win an additional red lokai to share with a friend! The first 25 winners will be chosen this Friday, so there’s no time to waste! Thanks @escapingyouth
IV. @animalplanet : for kids who love animals.
Do your part to help Villalobos! All you need to do is watch! #Repost @mariah_harmony_ with @repostapp. ・・・ Tomorrow is the animal planet you watch we give episode. Make sure to tune in!!! A photo posted by Animal Planet (@animalplanet) on
V. @onecampaign : have your kids follow one account where they can see their favorite stars at work for a good cause.
VI. @dictionarycom : your kid will be preparing for SAT, way before all the other kids!
VII. @iloveplaymo : spark your child’s creative interest!
VIII. @brahmino : offers the best of both visual and mental stimulation for your kid.
IX. @humansofny : if you want your kid to have an idea that people come from a wide range of experiences.
X. @charitywater : make it easier for your kid to understand just how devastating it can be to live in a water crisis.