Last week I was speaking to a younger person who was feeling very low and pressured about creating their own Instagram account. Instagram is a fast way to share your life with others by sharing photos/videos and it is free. Peers kept asking this person, why haven’t you got an account and why are you using one? Feeling the pressure, this young person set up their own Instagram account. All that was required was a user name and email account. The young person used their own name including their surname. Within 3 days they had 22 followers, 6 followers they didn’t know and had managed to follow 78 other people. Of the 78 people the youth was following, they personally knew 30 of the followers. This was in 3 days!
The young person showed me a friend of theirs who they were following who had posted personal images of themself. This particular person was the same age and had 433 followers! The youth wasn’t aware of the privacy settings on Instagram. As educators, I believe we educate students on social media such as Facebook (well I hope that we all do). But does our education extend to other social media platforms such as Instagram?
I don’t believe that we should be discouraging students to use social media but we should be showing them how to use social media safely. Are you and your students aware that under the terms and conditions of Instagram:
– You must be 13 years of age to use the service. However, when you create an account you are not asked to enter your age?
– You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via the Service. However, I saw many sexually suggestive photos on a particular users account?
– Other Users may search for, see, use, or share any of your User Content that you make publicly available through the Service. In essence, any photo that is uploaded can be used publicly and commercially with out having to ask for your permission under the Instagram user license (Sept, 2012).