Instagram – Is It Okay for Kids? What Parents Need to Know

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In many ways, and without reinventing the wheel, Instagram is changing the way people share photos with each other. The mobile app, which is only available on the iPhone, is steadily growing in popularity among the kid and teen crowds, causing parents to take notice and ask, what exactly is Instagram, and is there anything I should be worried about?

Just like with any social sharing application, there are a few things parents need to know about Instagram and how their teen may be using it, so the Yoursphere for Parents editorial team did the research. But first, what is Instagram?

What Is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo sharing mobile app that’s (currently) only available on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Users can either upload a photo from their device’s library or take a photo right then and there and use Instagram to change the way the photo looks.

The user then has the option to simultaneously upload this photo to a number of social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Foursquare, depending on which ones they sync to their Instagram account. The photo will also be uploaded to the Instagram community where people can like and comment on it.

In many ways, Instagram is a photo-sharing social network on its own. Users have a profile with the option to fill out information such as first and last name, username, birthday, gender, bio, email address and phone number. Popular photos from all over the world are shared under the “Popular” tab, and every user has the option to follow other Instagram users and vice versa.

The idea behind Instagram is simple, really. And they execute it so beautifully. But just like with any social sharing application, there are some privacy and concerning content issues that can ruin the Instagram experience for a family with kids and younger teens.

What Parents Need To Know


The only information required when signing up for Instagram is an email address and desired username. Though they ask for a phone number, it’s very clear during sign up that this is optional, so please consider your privacy or your teen’s privacy before entering a phone number here.

The single most important thing to realize is that, by default, anyone can view the photos that you upload to Instagram. In other words, your profile and your photos are publicly viewable unless you tell it otherwise. If you only want your followers to see your photos, then you need to set your profile to private by following these steps:

  1. Go to your profile page (tap the Profile tab)
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the Profile page, where you’ll see a “Photos are private” switch
  3. Toggle the “Photos are private” switch to ON to turn on privacy.

Once you set your profile to private, anyone who wants to see your photos will need to be your friend/follower first, meaning they’ll have to send a request and you’ll have to approve.


During the process of uploading a photo, the geo-location data of the photo you’re uploading can
easily be shared with your followers if you’re not careful. Fortunately, Instagram turns geotagging off by

default, but it’s easy to accidently turn it on.

When uploading a photo, be sure to avoid tapping the button shown in this screenshot. If you do, you can always tap it again to turn it off. This is just something to be aware of as geotagging is a huge risk to you and your teen’s privacy online. You can learn more about how geotagging works, here.


Instagram is not for children under the age of 13, and in my opinion, not suitable for slightly older teens, either. If you’re 12 years old, there isn’t even a 1999 year to choose when signing up. Instagram has strict Terms of Use and Community Guidelines that make their age requirement clear. Also, there’s an obvious connection between Instagram and other adult-intended social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Blocking and Reporting Users and Content

While there are tools for reporting/blocking users and inappropriate content, know that people will, and do upload nude photos. In fact, the editorial team found a multitude of bestiality photos in less than one minute when searching for friends. It’s a sad fact, and another commonsense reason that you shouldn’t allow your children to use Instagram. If you are an Instagram user, they provide easy-to-use tools to block or report someone. The steps below show you how:

Blocking a user –

  1. Navigate to their profile page (tap Profile > Search Instagram > Names and usernames, then search for and tap on their username).
  2. Tap the button in the top right corner of the screen (gear icon).
  3. Tap “Block user” to prevent the user from viewing your account.

The same steps can be followed to report a user, in addition to giving a reason why you’re reporting them.


Reporting a photo –

  1. Tap the “…” below the photo you would like to report and then “Flag for review”
  2. Select the proper reason for reporting from the list and, if prompted, a short description.

NOTE: All flags are anonymous and go directly to Instagram.


So, parents, do you use Instagram? Does your teen? If so, have you or they encountered any privacy, bullying or content issues like we did?  As I said at the outset, Instagram does a simple and fantastic job of letting us do some very fun and creative things with our photos. Frankly, in my opinion, it’s a shame that others ruin what should be enjoyed by you and your family.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. And remember, there are plenty of apps out there, just like there are plenty of social networks out there that were made FOR your children, and with their privacy in mind. And though it’s a wonderful app that enhances the way we share photos, Instagram is not one of them.

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  • For all of the children posting to these comments, using the reason that “all of my friends have an account,” this just shows that you don’t have the maturity level to know what is best for you. As a parent, I am trying to help my children become self-sufficient adults and be above the influence of their peers, which means they will hopefully make choices based on their own opinions, not because “everyone else is doing it.” Imagine if you went to your parents and asked them to buy you alcohol and your argument is that all of your friends are drinking alcohol. Do you think that is going to work? It is not really your fault, as your frontal lobe, which contains the reasoning centers, are still growing. You don’t have the ability to see around all the corners yet, so trust your parents to do that for you.

    Although it is a different world, social pressures from peers, has always been around. I remember all the things I didn’t get, or places I didn’t get to go even though all my friends were doing it, and you know what? I still survived this social unfairness, and I still kept the friends. On the other hand, I do know a few kids, whose parents never said no, that did not survive their teen years, whether it was alcohol related car accidents or drug overdoses. Even thought I thought my mom was a square, and unfair, I can see now that she was strong enough to accept my temporary hatred in exchange for the greater good. I am so appreciative of that now.

    Parents who are saying no, keep strong. My kids turn in their phones to me every night, and know that I can look at what they have been doing. I actually haven’t yet, but it keeps them on their toes as far as messaging their friends. I personally still won’t let my children have an Instagram account even when they are 13. There is no great jump in maturity that I have ever seen in 13 yr olds, and in fact I think that is when peer pressures really start ramping up and there is a back slide. A 10 year old that really cares what mom and dad thought, can become a teen, who only cares what their friends think. It is a natural order as they try to find their place in the world. I don’t need them trying to impress strangers as well.

  • I don’t want it because it’s “cool” I want it so I can follow my favorite chefs and best friends. My mom has it, ( I’ve seen it on her phone ) and she won’t let me. I’ve Folde her many reasons like “it could be private” and “I’ll let you follow me too!” But it never works. Any advice?

  • my daughter is in junior school noway i would let her have instergram, facebook or skype, most in her year is on 1 or all of the sites, lots of bullying going on between the children who is on instergram, at least once a week the head or depty head has a chat to the children about social network sites but still bullying continues, not much school can do as its out of school hours its parents responsibility, all the children are under age to be using these sites, its too easy to give false details on any social network maybe sites need to tighten up maybe up age

    • I am 25 and my dad still won,t let me get instagram because of the nude pictures and really bad language. He said i would be better off getting out and about doing some sport.

  • If I was a parent I wouldn’t trust Instagram because people don’t say who they are there might be some bad people on there. And plus I wouldn’t recommend this to my 13 year old (if I had one) I don’t want her or him to talk to bad people or post nasty things, also I would do as any parent would do and look at their messages.

  • I think the problem isn’t just porn and inappropriate contact from strangers, but from tweenies’ friends too! I have just seen a thread by a group of friends my own son belongs to. They are nice boys pretty much. But the language! And some of the topics being discussed! Then last week there was a whole bullying issue. It really is a pain, the whole thing, I just want rid. My own son is pretty responsible, but its easy to get dragged into this kind of stuff. Its a shame, as there are some sweet photos by friends etc. I think Instagram also encourages kids to go for “attention seeking” and “shock” value in the worst sense.

  • I am 13 years old, almost 14, and I don’t even have a phone. I have the money to buy the phone and the plan but my parents keep saying no. I really want an Instagram because I love photography and I love seeing other peoples perspective. I understand that being mean to people online can affect you in the long run and I understand the responsibilities but they just keep saying no. I have never gotten any grade below an A, I am a kind person and my parents said that if I needed something they would get it for me. I don’t believe this because my school is starting to run things on instagram for extra curricular activities. Like signing up and schedule changes. Can you please help I really really want one and I have been bullied because I don’t have one.

    • Maybe you could ask to make an Instagram on their phone? That way they’ll be able to see exactly what you’re doing. Although that may not exactly be what you want, you might get an Instagram, it might just be parent monitored. I think the main cause of them not letting you have an Instagram is that they’ve heard so many bad things about it.

    • Your parents must have reasons to not let you have a smartphone, as there are suspicions that every parent should make. Obviously you are not yet 18, and whether or not you like that, you will have to accept it. Confirm with your parents that you can have an Instagram, not a cellphone. If Instagram is to be used based on your love for photography, it is fully operational from the computer, with some select features unavailable including direct messaging. You can have a friend create an account for you, get the login details, and then install Gramblr(that can be done here- You can then take a camera and take pictures, then proceed to upload them upon getting home etc. I know from experience that not telling your parents will just make you regret and it’ll be a disaster. If they don’t let you, then fine. Bare with it until you’re 18, hang in there.

    • Hey, my name is Grace too 😉 I just the day before yesterday got a phone for my birthday. My 15th. And honestly it teaches you much more not having one than actually having one. I think you should keep in mind the fact that there is a monthly bill and many other responsibility factors that play in here. Originally my parents rule has been that you have to be 16 for a phone anyways, so I was surprised myself. You just have to show that you have patience and maturity, the respect for their decision. And Instagram is just a time sucker. Honestly. Nothing is very interesting and there is no perspective. Just look around and take in life itself, feel blessed because everyone around you have been sucked into their phones and they probably won’t see the light aside from their phone screens for a very long time. Good luck 🙂

  • I am 11 turning 12 in 6 days. Practically everyone in school has an instgram. Ill admit that i no y my mom wont let me have an instgram. She wont let me cause i secretly got a kik acount and my friend met a guy on mincraft that she didnt even know. And he had a kik so she introduced me to him and he started talking to me. Till one day my friends mom found out and called my mom and my mom called my dad. I got my phone taken away and so did my friend and i got my phone back after my mom looked over everything. While my friends mom took her phone to the police. They said he was a “famous hockey player”. So i know i cant do anything like that again and i would be way more careful but i don’t think my mom understands that.

  • Parents: We have found the biggest problem is the direct messaging. Yes, it is a great way to communicate (think: digital note passing) and most of it is harmless, albeit immature, but is harmless and a way to learn about one another and relationships in this day and age. BUT, and this is a big BUT, with group direct messages it can get nasty and pushes the envelope on taste and can be totally inappropriate!!!! Kids are saying things that are shocking – even if they don’t wholly understand it. I do read the messages from time to time and realized I could not have my 13 year old exposed to the trash talk, foul language and worse. SO – get their password and tell them you can and will read their stuff because it is your house, your electronics and they are still young! They will earn more freedom with each year and by earning trust. Would you just drop them off at a party where there are no parents and kids you don’t know? Then why give them 100% freedom on texting and instagram with some intervention and lessons? ****Another thing – parents of girls *** I am shocked at what the girls are allowing the boys to say to them. The disrespect is horrible. And parents of sons, I hope you tell them to never speak to a girl so disrespectfully. We have to raise the bar. Good luck. FYI – we took away Instagram. Very hard, but we had to.

    • Thank you being the involved digital parent that you.
      I wish more parents were like you.
      Good job parenting, Lynda.

      Mary Kay

  • I really do want an instagram.My mom won’t let me have one because “something terrible can happen to me,” but she forgets that I am possibly one of the most careful and prudent people you can meet online. I feel like she truely doesn’t trust me…

    • It took me a while to finally get an Instagram. I think that you should ask your mom if it’s ok if you get one yet she can monitor it.

    • KJ, you are fortunate to have a safety minded parent. It may feel like she doesn’t trust you, but I suspect that it’s not you but all of those unseen and often unsafe people that are on the internet that she doesn’t trust. Even adults have found themselves in danger because there is really no sure way to identify people who want to do harm to others. Be patient, find other ways to communicate with friends and give your mom a hug for being amazing. It is hard to say no to your children because you want them to fit in and be happy but being a good parent means you have to make tough decisions if you truly love your children. You are one of the lucky ones!

  • I’m sick of all the 10 year olds on here getting upset because Mommy said no to an Instagram. Seriously, it states in the terms of Instagram you must be 13 to use the services. What on Earth makes it seem like a good idea to lie about your age?

  • This paragraph under Blocking and Reporting Users and Content was the kicker that sealed my decision NOT to allow my 12 year old to have an “Instagram account”.

    Blocking and Reporting Users and Content:
    While there are tools for reporting/blocking users and inappropriate content, know that people will, and do upload nude photos. In fact, the editorial team found a multitude of bestiality photos in less than one minute when searching for friends. It’s a sad fact, and another commonsense reason that you shouldn’t allow your children to use Instagram. UNFORTUNATELY there are PREDATORS (1. a person or group that ruthlessly exploits others.)

  • I don’t see why there are so many 11/12 year olds complaining that their parents won’t let them get Instagram, I am within the age limit but I do t have it, there is a reason that they have that rule. Instagram was originally created for sharing images of the beautiful world around us, not of what we are doing every second of the day. I went to a friend’s birthday party earlier his year and everyone spent the entire time on their phone checking Instagram, it is alright to use once in a while but not 24/7.

  • i am 11 and will be 12 soon an i want instagram but my parents wont allow me to have it i realize how lucky i am but this is the thing i long for.Sometimes i feel like they dont trust me. I also have many restrictions i cant have a phone until i am 16 and i am only allowed to take pictures on my ipod touch. I see instagram as a way to gain trust to my parents and show them that i can be responsible but i guess they dont see that, i go to bed at 8 and they still treat me like i cant do anything i hope they be able to see that i can do this and that i can be loyal show responsibility.When i am at school we use technology and when they ask for phones i dont have one i hopes this convinces you.

    • I promise it’s not you they don’t trust! It’s the world! Hold on to the innocence long as you can. Youth is fleeting. I’m reading this because I let my 11 yr old have one and I never should have….now I have to take it away. My 18 yr old was never so desperate to have one. He has one now and thinks it’s awful I let her have one. I think he’s right!!!! Be thankful for parents that care, it’s hard to stand our ground. There are kids who wish someone was worried about them! Enjoy the life you have now, all the other will be at your fingertips before you know it!

    • dont worry, my dad said that i couldnt have a phone until im 16 too, (and my parents are super strict) but the need for one (communications purposes) will probably out-do your parents and youll probably end up getting one before 16. just from personal experience, this is what i think will probably happen based on your situation.

  • Does Instagram have a ‘thread’ that stays as a history? Do the comments and pictures expire quickly? Can individual comments and or pictures be deleted from the thread?

    Thanks in advance for any answers you may have.

    • Most parents don’t like their children using social media because history is never ‘deletable’
      Anything you post on Social Media can be ‘deleted’, but the things you post up is almost always there. Am I making sense? Even though you ‘delete’ a comment or post, it is still there. This is what many of the people hiring others search up. To see if you posted anything ‘weird’ or ‘foul’.
      Anyways, I’m sorry I couldn’t reply earlier, but remember to think before you post

    • You can clear the search history and delete posts and comments. However, nothing ever completely disappears from the internet.

  • My 11 year old son has just started using Instagram with his friends and he was very angry with his mother when she read his private messages. Thankfully they are innocent exchanges. He began deleting all his messages thereafter and hid his iPod from us.

    He has also started up a youtube channel reviewing card decks and showing close up magic, which he filmed, edited and uploaded. An excellent application of skills by any standard. I have insisted he only shows his hands in the videos and does not do shots of his face.

    I looked at his history and noticed he had made a few comments on others’ videos with a couple of complimentary comments left for one you-tuber in particular, which had received replies. I asked him about it and the conversation went like this.

    Me- “Who is *******”
    Son – “Oh he’s a guy that does magic”
    Me – “Do you know him?”
    Son – “No, He’s really funny though”
    Me- ” You made a comment about his thumbnail being short”
    Son – “Oh, yes, He said that he wants to be a vampire and grew his nails long like a vampire but his thumbnail broke”
    Me – “He wants to be a vampire? Isn’t that a bit weird?”
    Son – “Um..Yes.”
    Me – “It’s definitely weird and you are communicating with him. That is not good”
    Son – “But he’s really nice”

    That REALLY worried me.

    The conversation continued with me not stamping my foot and deleting apps and accounts but I have insisted that if he does continue with youtube to turn off comments to prevent trolling and negative remarks and contact from others.

    With Instagram I had a discussion with him about his behaviour and the lack of trust that was building and explained why I was so concerned. Although many of his friends have instagram, they are all the same age and have therefore lied on their account as 11 is too young, this alone is enough to warrant deleting the account but I will allow him to do it slowly to avoid any negativity from his real friends.

    Parenting is quite complicated these days!

  • Digital parenting is no different than parenting in the real world. You do your best to introduce your children to things when you feel they are ready for them and in a way with the least amount of negative impact. While I don’t feel my twelve year old is ready for Facebook, Instagram, etc., I am not going to tell other parents how to raise their children. Instead, I will just share what works for me and what I am using today.
    What has worked for me is a combination of talking to my boys (12 and 8), signing up for parental control software, and looking for cool sites for my boys to enjoy. No software will ever replace parenting and I can’t sit over their shoulders every minute of the day. I have learned to accept that I have to be involved and I will always need some help.
    When my oldest son asked me to sign him up for the latest social network, I hesitated. However, when I read more about it, I was intrigued. My son didn’t realize it, but he was asking me to purchase new parental control software.
    My World, Jr. ( is parental control software that goes a few steps farther: They offer something for the kids. There’s a real social network, an email account, and chat capabilities for the kids.
    I understand that this software won’t keep my tween engaged forever, but I am hopeful it will satisfy him until I am ready to release him to the more adult world of Instagram and Facebook. When that day comes, I can still filter his internet, but I won’t tell him, yet.
    The social network is pretty neat. It is pretty much Facebook for kids. Well, Facebook without the ads. The social network is only accessible by members. My boys love it and because it is internal to My World, Jr., I control their passwords. So, I can monitor their activity whenever I want to.
    One of the things I like the most about My World, Jr. is the email account. It’s real email with variable restriction levels. My eight year old is on the highest restriction level, which requires me to approve all of his contact requests. My twelve year old is on the medium level, which allows him to establish his own contacts with other My World, Jr. members, but requires my permission for all contact requests with people outside of My World, Jr. The lowest level allows him establish his own contacts, but I will still have the ability to monitor his email account if I need to.
    Anyway, I think it’s worth a look. They are new and with that, there have been a few glitches. Thankfully, the staff has been very responsive and fixes everything as quickly as they can. It’s about time someone came up with a more comprehensive approach to digital parenting.

  • To parents: It’s really simple, if you feel that your child is responsible and:
    1. Displays mature behavior
    2. Is open with you about things that go on with them
    3. Is not in an environment where people do things like get secret Instagram accounts and post inappropriate pictures and comments on Instagram, or at least chooses to hang out with people who don’t take part in creating this environment
    4. Has given you a believable and appropriate reason for why they want to get the account and has explained to you what they will do on the account
    5. Understands the responsibilities that come with getting an account

    To kids: If you have an Instagram account, give your parents proof that they can trust you, so that you are not the ones creating an environment where kids sneak behind their parents’ backs and create inappropriate accounts (e.g. containing innappropriate posts and comments). If you do not have an account, ask your parents and constantly display mature behavior. Also, give them a good reason as to why you want the account and what you would use it for.

    Thanks for reading and tell me what you think!

    • The problem is eve if your child is responsible, open and mature about his instagram use, they are still being exposed to stuff they shouldn’t be. Really bad language used by their friends and acquaintances stuff that would make an adult’s eyes water, the inevitable porny pictures, plus nasty arguments and bullying. This all happens regularly!!!

  • I think that once you think your kid is responsible enough, let them have it. Tell them not to go on #hashtags and have a private account. It’s what I’d do.
    I myself am 10. I understand why parents/guardians don’t want their children seeing stuff like that, and other things – I really do. I already know loads of swear words, anyway, and I’m sure your kids do to – everyone talks about it in school – you must know.
    All my friends have it, except from two (one of them has Facebook: even worse) and I am quite poor enough so I can’t offord getting credit for messaging, and emailing is boring, to insert a simple picture you take ages. Horrid. You can edit photos, so no need to get an app, and post funny things – it’s amazing.
    My mum hasn’t told me an outright answer (my parents aren’t together) so I’m left waiting. I hope I can get it.

    Yours truly,

    • your 10 get of instagram. go and play tea parties or whatever its just weird… Instagram is meant for teenagers to keep up to track and do whatever the hell they want. I own a fandom acc that has over 2k followers so ik what happens. It isn’t ok for 10 yr olds to have it but at the same time u parents need to trust us, we’re not stupid. we just want to share. but yh, 10yr olds r stupid and need to get off insta, obviously it isn’t safe its social media. And well done for knowing lots of swear words, u must be a big girl now so congrats

      • Irritated Teen-
        Do you know how to spell? Simple words like OFF were spelled wrong. So how about you LAY OFF the Instagram and start working on your spelling.

    • I am 11 practically 12 and my parents wont let me get Instagram bc thwy dont trust other ppl and last time i had it(2012 when I was 9) I followed ppl i didnt know. The thing is im more mature now and now i know whats right whats wrong who to block and to turn it to private. But they wont even talk about it with me, sometimes I feel like they dont trust me but they say they do its other ppl. This whole concept drives me crazy. So what im going to do is for my 12th birthday im going to ask for an account. Idk if this doesnt sound like a good plan but…Also kids make mistakes, we take risks, its life, and i get my parents are trying to protect me but they cant protect me forever. Thanks for reading.

      • I am 13 and I can’t have one tell I am moved out complaining about having one taken away when you were 9 is not really going to help you, but I feel you pain at the same time.

      • Same with me I’m the same age and my mom won’t let me have instagram or any other account she banns every game that you can meet ppl on and says they make you hav a bad attitude I’m turning twele in like two months and i don’t understand why she won’t let me have games where you can chat!!!!!!!!!!!!?
        * . *
        ‘ —
        I sorta hate my life

    • I’m really sorry dude. i have the same problem. im 11 and my mum is super strict so i cant have till im 13 it sucks. i won a resbonsibility award at school and still i cant have. i feel ur pain.

    • Your mom/dad/guadian thinks they are doing the right thing, but they are misguided.
      Basically, what they are doing right now is cutting you off from your social life. Studies show that this can cause depression, make you do badly in school, and even start getting bullied, with ppl picking on you for being the only one without an instagram. I assume she does this with other services too. Your mom/dad/guardian thinks they are protecting you, but they are not. If this keeps up, when you grow up, you are not going to have a clue of what to do when you are thrust out into the world. I have seen men in their thirties that are living in their mom’s house because their parents were overprotective, and now they don’t know what to do. Show you guardians this post, and ask them to rethink what they are doing. Cutting you off from the world is a horrible idea.

      • You are the misguided one. It is not wrong or harmful for a parent to shield their child from age-inappropriate content. It is actually their job.

        Teaching a child that they don’t always get to have what other people have and the restraint and responsibility to follow the rules anyway will help them exponentially more than an Instagram account.

        • While I do agree that parents must be cautious about the Internet, it is not totally beneficial. I think that the best way to let your child use social media is at a point when the parent/guardian is certain he/she can trust their child, and monitor who they are coming in contact with and what they are posting. As technology becomes more influential in today’s environment, developing good habits about how to use it is imperative. The child should not be totally cut off, but he/she should neither be able to access shady profiles/sites on the internet,

        • well duh but u should trust us im of age and haf over 2k followers. U make it out to be horrific but its not. Just go on private its that simple

      • 100% agree with u my parents r way overprotective and r taking away my social life I used to have an Instagram but not anymore because I followed random people but now I know that I can’t do that parents suck sometimes

      • This made me laugh. I was young once too no 12 year old will be unsuccessful because they didn’t have insta till 16! My sons friend was just allowed one at 17 as a senior! She is a popular cheerleader and homecoming Queen too! Going to college in a big city with 34,000 students in the spring. There is some horrible stuff on insta! Patience. Don’t judge parents who are doing their job. If anything, staying on social media rather than having real relationships is a lot riskier. I know kids that obsess over how many likes they get….. Wow… that healthy? Nope

      • I disagree. I reluctantly allowed my 12 yr old to keep the instagram account she created. It has added to her anxiety and depression. There is a contant urgency to continuously check the feed and post likes. There seems to be a contest to see eho can get the most likes or followers and some go to great
        Lengths to be the popular one. There are comments about hsving a horrible life and cutting. Lots of profanity, sexual scenes, mature R-rated content that even a responsible adult would not want to participate in. Instatagram creates a constant battle in our home. I wish i had not bought her a cell phone at all. It is difficult to go backwards.

    • I have been looking/searching for ideas on what to do as a parent to help filter the photos that come up when you “search.” Some are really shocking! As far as I have found, is there ANY way for a person to filter the photos that just come up automatically? I don’t see many posts that address this!!!

      • yeah there isn’t but u haf to search for it through hashtags, so unless ur kids searching through dodgy tags then they wont see it. if they r they should get help

  • well my I want an instagram but my parents wont let me get one cuz they say that it can be a used to bully and people can make mean comments. But I said that I know they can make mean comments and bully but if they want to make mean comments they can go ahead becuz I really don’t care what other people think of me. And also they know that I can make my account private so they r thinking about letting me get 1. But I just wanted to find a site to show them the things I can do on instagram so that only the people I follow can see what I post (if my account is private). And I think that this did help me find something showing that instagram is ok because it shows that u can make ur page private u can also block and report. So I think this was very helpful and I think if my parents read this they will finally consider letting me get an instagram

    • I think ur better of without instagram. I am 15 and my parents dont like me hving insta. I got embarrased and bullied by someone i though was a friend. She was fake pretending evreything so she can go laugh with her friends. Oh and private accounts means only people who u follow see ur profile and pics but its not only that. Photos are public by default. I no cis i expierinced it. Just be careful

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        • wow. you sound like those 12 year old assholes who think they’re better than everyone else. let me tell you something, you’re not. know that there is no one better to guide you in your life than your parents. this is coming from another fellow 12 year old

        • Idiot whats wrong with your brain O,O You sound like some ***** Who has no life
          You should follow what your parents say they know better than you fucking idiot !
          Watch your mouth!!! I bet you have an inapropiote account on instagram!!!!!! > , < Idoit stupid dumb idiot! Coming from yet another 12 year old you person who thins you can just "fuck it " are wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I agree. Ive just turned twelve and ive been asking for instagram for ages. The thing is, my mom wont let me have it because she doesn’t want me seeing ‘explicit content’. Pretty much all of my friends have it as well as snapchat and whatsapp. I mean, im not dumb enough to post inappropriate pictures and posts and I know what to keep private, but she STILL wont let me have it. I know im mature enough and she knows it too. She has social media herself and uses it all the time. Anyone else feeling my pain?

  • Wake up everyone! It’s the 21st century. When your kids go off to college or grow up what do you think they willse? It’s better for them to see it now when they’re with you and y’all can talk about it than when their in high school and too busy or they’re in college and make decisions on their own

    • You can talk about any subjects with your children without desensitizing them. I think all of this 21st century is a bunch of crap and it is allowing people to be crud, demoralized, disrespectful, ugly people, who can’t tell right from wrong or beauty from discust. It is these kind of comments that are corrupting our society.

    • Well as a parent of two young girls my job is to protect them while they are young. Children are being lured everyday. What you choose to do is your choice but don’t bully people for their choices.

  • Why would a parent lie about their child’s age to get them an Instagram, Facebook or other social media account? What are you teaching your child? My 11 year-old will not have an account until she’s 13 and then we will discuss it again. She’s not happy about it but my job isn’t to make sure she’s happy. It’s to keep her safe. She’s got her entire adult life to get sucked in by the electronic media. Now it’s time to be a kid. Stop being a friend and be a parent!

    • After much discussion, rule setting, role playing and following one another I allowed my almost 12 year old daughter to open an acct last night. No where was her age requested to do so, nor was to open one for myself. I set both accts to private and she knows all family members have right to intervene if they so feel necessary. I might add that it is every parents discretion to determine what their child is ready to handle and their obligation to set limits and check up on them. I feel this is a good way for my daughter to continue earning trust and responsibility as she has with her phone.

  • I’m a little confused. I haven’t read all the comments, about 1/2 to 3/4’s perhaps, but over and over I see 13 being the age minimum to have an account. Both my daughters have now created accounts and nothing was required concerning their age. Has instagram changed this as of today? (Jan. 5, 2015)

      • I’m under 10, but I’m almost 10. My mum and dad don’t really like me on Instagram, seeing it teaches me bad language and puberty…even though I already know about things like that. My 51 year old mum, and my 25 year old sister are on Instagram, but they never use it. My other sister uses it, and she keeps me safe and stuff. If someone uses bad language on my posts, she’ll tell them off. Thanks for reading, oh, and any advice?
        Ps. I am banned from Instagram for a bit, while my parents sort things out. I am rather upset though, because I had a lot of friends on there, and around 260 followers.

  • I am just 11 and I want to get an account. My mum is okay with it but my dad doesn’t really like social media. I am allowed to get an account as long as I deal with it safely. I am going to do the private thing.
    Should or shouldn’t I open the account?
    Thanks for reading.

    • Since you’re only 11 Instagram doesn’t allow you to get an account, as said in this article. Wait until you are 13 before getting an account.

    • Dear kids/parents,
      Yes, you should get it. I am 12 years old and i have a Instagram. Its really fun because you know whats happening in your friends life. My account is private so if people want to look at my pics then i HAVE to accept them. most of my friends have Instagram. I remember when Instagram first stared and it had a lot of bad things on it. But now it has really changed, but i have to say i can see why parents don’t let there kids get it. It has a few things here and there. like maybe swear words but that is pretty much it. My parents know that i have a account and they trust me with my actions and for the kids that don’t have a Instagram, I hope your parents can understand what great this app is.

      Thanks For Reading,
      Review King

    • I think children should go on histogram at 10plus cause it gives children responsibility to get older and stay in contact with there friends or maybe family away

  • Kids shouldn’t have phones in the first place. Now kids are awful. They are disrespectful and rude. There has been already 4 fights at my school. smh
    Kids these days.

    • I am shocked at some of these comments.

      There is an age restriction for a reason on instagram. It is not to do with what you do or post and more to do with what others post. I am almost 15 and my dad is finally considering letting me have an ig account, and i am looking forward to it. The reason I haven’t been allowed it previously is due to the fact the other people can post inappropriate images and comments. This person could be your closest friend or a complete stranger, but more likely than not, it will happen.

      To parents: if your child is over 13 and you believe they are mature enough to handle the difficulties relating to Instagram, then go ahead and let them have it!! But if they are under that age, let them wait. Accounts of underage children do get deleted, so be warned.

      To kids: your parents and the law know best

      • Well… I honestly thought you took a long time to do this work.. I just have to say something, not trying to be rude though…. I have an Instagram and I’m 12, it has not been deleted, my younger friend has a Instagram and is not deleted for being “under age….”

      • Very well written. It is extremely sad that children have to feel this sense of pressure of media. In my opinion it should be 18yrs old, legally they are an ADULT. I too notice the respect level diminishing with our youth. The same principal applies with dress code – The less you expose of yourself, the better you will be. How you ACT is what defines YOU!! There is so much nonsense at school why would you want to bring it into your home, after all your home is your castle of safety!!

  • I’ll have to both disagree and agree with the concerned parents on this site. Some people my age (13) and younger post selfies, which can be unsafe. I stopped posting selfies because I was a bit worried about who was seeing the pictures and deleted all pictures of myself.

    However, if you’re younger than me (12 or under) you shouldn’t really be posting selfies because you’re just being viewed as jailbait. Sure, your followers may seem nice, but some of them could be pedophiles that are looking for something nasty. I follow a young-looking girl (11 or 10 maybe?) and she posted a picture of herself in a bikini. Pedophiles could come to her page and just ogle her. And her mother doesn’t probably know about this, either.

    On the other hand, Instagram can be safe. I have a ‘fandom account’ and I just post pictures of things that I’m really into. There’s nothing dangerous about that, surely? And there is the option of having a private account. Even if you accidently accepted a request, they can’t see pictures of your face.

    I’m sick of hearing ”bawwwww my mommy doesn’t let me have instagram and my friends have it how do i convince her to let me have it”. Surely, you’ve heard of secretly making an account? It is not recommended, but if you be discreet about having an account and don’t post pictures of yourself (plus only telling your friends about the account), you can be safe.

    • I think it’s kinda funny actually because I am 13 and my parents are ok with me having an account because my older brother has one and has never encountered any problems. I’m still not sure if I want one though. I am really big on photography and want to be able to post my pictures somewhere I can get feedback from peers I am not entirely convinced Instagram is the right place for that. I have done a lot of research on good places to post pictures and it seems one of the most popular ones is Instagram. Let me know if you think this is a good place to post my photos to get feedback! Thanks!

  • Listen, okay. Instagram may be nice but there are a million other ways to show pictures and talk to your friends. Has everyone here forgotten about texting?

    The thing is though, our parents didn’t grow up in the ‘digital’ age like we have so they don’t really know about all this stuff. Therefore, they don’t really know that we’re signing up for something when we’re underage. If you want to get Instagram, that’s fine, but make sure your parents know. If they say ‘no’, tell them about private accounts. The whole point of Instagram is to share photos with friends and I’m sure that you don’t want complete strangers seeing all your pictures.

    Just think of it this way. When you put up pictures of yourself on a non-private Instagram account, it’s basically like putting a huge billboard with a picture and information about yourself in the middle of the town park or some other place where a lot of people visit.

    I’m sure you’re all smart enough to know that it’s silly to just put a huge billboard with pictures of yourself in front of your school or something. If you know that, you should be smart enough to know that a non-private account is not okay.

    If for some reason you desperately need a non-private account, here are some tips for keeping yourself safe.

    1. Don’t take pictures of yourself in your uniform or in front of your house. This basically is really stupid and means that criminals could track you down.
    2. Don’t take stupid photos! No one really cares about the fact that you sprayed a whole bottle of Pepsi over your face – except for your parents who will be very angry.



    • I think that if you post personal pictures, a private account is definitely recommended, but for individuals who have a non-personal account (such as someone who posts web comics), being private does not affect the safety of the individual/

  • hi. i currently just turned twelve and have an instagram.I thought that you might want to hear from me because im an under age that has an instagram. Its been okay so far. If your parent is worried about having an instagram put it on private mode where only your followers can see your pictures and you get to pick if someone follows you or not. I hope this information helped because it will be a lot more safe if you do that. If you think your childs following or looking up bad stuff get on there account delete it or talk to them about privacy. But the bad thing is the profiles sometimes arnt who they say they are!! It could basicly be anyone, copying your pictures from other social media websites. If that does happen warn people the profiles fake,report it, block them and tell your friends to too. To me honestly instagram is pretty fun if you make it that way. Hope some of this information was useful thank you!!

    • I am almost 10 and I have Instagram. I know what is right and wrong, and my account is private. I love wolves, ya see? Me and my friend do. We post selfies and wolf pictures, or just things that might intrest us. I have a lot of ‘friends’ on there…only through Instagram, though. They post selfies and stuff too. People post things about suicide, and depression. I used to help them, through private messaging, but I won’t now, because I realised that’s pretty bad. I just wanted to help people, because I’m a kind generous child. I think you could get Instagram at 10+ because no one will REALLY see it, if you private your account. Also, a little tip for parents; Your child can use DM, which is private messaging. You can send the photo to only people you know, and e.g I wanted to send a picture of my puppies to my friend, and only my friend. I could do that, using DM. This is how you work it.
      1. Click the home button and scroll all the way up.
      2. Click the little box in the right top corner of the screen.
      3. To send a DM, click the little + sign on the right top corner, once on DM.
      4. Choose a picture, or make a 15 second video, and choose the person/people you want to send it to.
      Thanks for reading, oh, and feel free to reply to me!

  • As long as you always remember this- you can keep all your photos and comments private but once you post them, they are out in the world and you can never get them back so think before you post…

    • Instagram is safe and I have had it since I was 7 andI asked my mom but she said I could have something else like facebook and then all my friends at school have it and I am one of the oldest kids at school and then she said yes just dont post anything innapopriate no just kidding I wish that would happen I am 10-12 and I really want one what should I tell my mom?
      I hope she will let me get one

  • I’m currently writing about how Instagram affects the lives of teenagers. Thanks for the ideas, much appreciated,to some who love Instagram, You need to get a life, how can oneself ever be satisfy through an endless photographic of random people throughout? well we tend to compare ourselves with others, whose better, whose rich, who looks good, whose skinny,whose having fun and its a social where you would rate yourself comparing to others and make yourself feel better because you can’t express it in reality, So get a life.

  • i mean its ok to have a instagram account i mean i am 10 and i am responcibule and i mean i have afew electronics but i only friend my peps that i know.

    • Hi Guys I am so upset…..): I wish could get an instagram, but before I even knew about it enough that I wanted one, I went bowling with a friend and a guy was following us and taking inappropriate pictures while we tried to get away. Later I told my mom about it and now she won’t let me get an account because she thinks instagram is a awfu, inappropriate, no good, and very bad for young teens Internet thing-a-ma-jig. ):

      Please help!!!!!!!! ):

  • At school litterally everyone has instagram. i have tried asking them befoore but they said no now a year later (today) iwant to ask them again but im afraid they will say no. my mom knows nothing about computers and when i tried to explain about private accounts she said no. can anyone PLEASE help me, im not joking, EVERYONE HAS IT but me 🙁

    • Don’t worry. You’re not the only one. You’re not alone. You just happen to be one of the rare children who has parents that actually care about your life.

    • Same her. All my friends have an Instagram and I don’t. I came on this website to look for reasons for my parents to allow me to get an Instagram.

  • Hey, Im an 11 year old girl and my parents wont let me get an Instagram. It annnoys me because most of my friends have one and i feel left out. Whenever my friends ask me if I have an account i feel kinda embarrassed when I say no. Even though I know the age restriction is 13 I really want one. How would I convince my parents to get me one?

    • Respect them. A good way is to bring up the idea of a PRIVATE account for starters. Tell them that they can monitor who you follow, who follows you and explain the difference between a public and private account. Don’t be ashamed many people that are famous such as Laneya Grace or Thylane Blondeau have private accounts and they’re at 48k!

      • Yes. Your parents may not understand about Instagram at first but if you tell them about private accounts they’re more likely to agree.

    • I’m a parent with an 11yr old child in the same boat as you. I do believe he would be responsible with the use of social media. I also understand he can have a private account so that people his mother and I approve of can have access to his uploads, etc. The problem is that we cannot control content of what he may be exposed to. That is what we struggle with and are researching and discussing at the moment. Your parents are not being mean nor trying to embarrass you. They are being parents, which means looking out for your best interest, because they love you. Be thankful you have parents that do what’s right and not what’s easy.

    • Don’t worry, you are not the only one. I am the same age as you and I really want an instagram because all my friends have one 🙁 I really want to ask my parents but I know they’re gonna say no. I feel really left out too

  • I am a kid and i just dropped the bomb on this. I see all the comments and stuff, and I think that i’m responsible enough to get an account. I know I have good friends and I will certainly make my account private, and follow only the people I know like my friends, kids at school, my parents, and some of my friends parents. All my friends have one. I am at a school where there is rarely ever any bullying, so I know I am safe as long as I set filters, private account, and block off and users that I see something that I don’t like. I think my mom will say yes because she knows i’m a good kid. I got all A’s all year last year and am pretty nice, so i think she’ll let me get one. I’m not the kind of kid that when left home alone will make a big bowl of icecream and watch tv till 11. So, I think it’s okay for 11 and up to get accounts as long as they are is non-bullying environments, follow only people you know, set up a private account and set filters.

  • For all you parents thinking Instagram is ok, IT IS NOT! Please please please get a program to moniter your children, as my child was NOT ok and the access gained to my child was through INSTAGRAM! People pose as someone else all while gaining your childs trust. Another lovely tidbit of info about instagram is they are difficult to work w/ when police get involved and don’t easily give up info that could help catch a predator. Giving a cell phone with open access, is basically no different than giving someone the key to your house. I was not a “lax” parent, but have learned the hard way, and hope that if my message helps one kid, it was worth writing. Please take my advice as one mother to the next.

    • This goes FAR beyond the regular social applications. Heard of Palringo? Neither did I until recently when I ound inapropriate things on our childs phone. This has led to the police being invloved.

      You have to KEEP an eye on even the best childs phones and computers. They are children who have not yet developed mentally yet to handle the attention that these predators will give them. protect your family at all costs before it’s beyond your reach and your help! God Bless

      • Listen, I’m sorry to say this, but not all kids are immature little idiots who have not ‘developed mentally’. I am 12 years old and wrote a safety guide about Instagram recently.

        We know about the possible dangers of Instagram. It’s just that some of us don’t even try to be safe.

        However, some of us are willing to follow the rules of safety.

        Yep, we’re not all stupid idiots who don’t know anything.

    • instagram is for people to explore pictures and comment on other pictures so really it is not that bad but people do get cyberbullied so you kinda have a point

    • Please beware of Instagram – They offer support for cutting, depression, suicide, anorexia/bulimia, drugs, alcohol, etc…. I was never so scared and amazed on what I found offering support to my daughter to kill her self or starve her self or cut her self. How can a social media site that offers this be even allowed. Shame on Instagram for not watching for this and keeping it off. I was fortunate that I found it before I found my daughter dead. If you allow your child on it be sure to check all the safety recommendations out there and no matter how good you think your child is you need to go on there and check it regularly!!!!!!!

  • There is this app called Censorgram and it is an automated comment control application for Instagram. It gives the user direct control to censor what they choose during their online experience. This will not only make Instagram safer but a more controlled environment for the user.

    With my children online and open to the internet, I was concerned for their safety but wanted to be able to let them experience and grow in this technological world. After my daughter being bullied online, i was forced to think of a way to help protect her even when I was not there. Then I found Censorgram! As a parent and a business owner this helps me in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

    I would check it out. Thanks just trying to put an end to this cyberbullying and spam issue online!

    • Mine is thinking about it. Ask some of yor friends that has an instagram to tell your mom the pros and cons.

      • Mine is also thinking about it. It’s hard being the only one of my friends who doesn’t have it. How should I convince her??

      • I was the 1st in my class to get it. They looked it up on Wikipedia and said I can get 1. I would mention privacy reporting and that if you are private people have to request you. Though I wouldn’t randomly get it. My friend did that and her account was deleted by her dad

    • my mom said to delete my instagram, but i don’t think she knows what it is so, i’m working up the courage to ask her is i can keep it

    • You “sorta hate your life”. You have enough money for food, an education and adequate clothing and you ” hate your life” because your parents won’t let you have “games you can chat on”. Wow. The world is full of spoilt brats…

  • instagram totally fine becuse all you have to do is be friends with people you know. and if anyone is being inapropriet or mean JUST BLOCK THEM!!!!!!! you don’t have to be so stupid about it, cant you trust your kids hat they will do the right thing!

      • I don’t think it is naive to believe you can trust your child. People seem to forget that children are independent beings, they have a brain, they can use it. In my opinion it is important to trust your child to do the right thing, especially during their teenage years. not doing so will undermine their growing independence. It’s not your place to control them, they have to learn right from wrong themselves. All you can do is protect them and make sure they know you are there for them.

        In regards to instagram, make sure they have a private account and tell them to block innapropriate people and they WILL do the right thing.

        • As a teenager I did lots of science experiments. They included making lightning hit the arial antenna via a wire trailed behind a rocket. Explosives, a suppressed .22 I would shoot in the basement, exploding arrows, etc. People do have the right to learn right from wrong, but trust me guidance helps. I frankly am amazed to be alive. Point is my parents stopped me from doing some things, others I snuck by. Typically my choices were bad as a teen.

  • i really want instagram all my friends have it but my mum wont let me my friend got very popular and she got bullied and could not handle some comments that her haterz were giving her i think i could handle it should i get it

  • Hi guys,
    I am 12 and I have 13 friends and all of them have it but me every time they ask me I have to make an exude up because I feel embarrassed. So I don’t no what to do I need help?

    • Hi Rissa
      I would simply state it is Instagrams LEGAL policy that you be 13 to join. And its illegal to lie and say your an age that you are not, its against the law and its simple as that.

    • i know i have the same problem because i dont have any cool social sites account except lame old hotmail as they say and i always have to make up some stupid lame excuse for not having one just because im to young uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • Instagram can be viewed on any computer, but to create an account, you have to start in the mobile version, on either an android or iOS device.

  • So I am 13 and all my friends have Instagrams and I would really like one too. How do I explain to my parents that I would keep it private and only let people I know follow me? I would simply be using it to keep up with my friends and people from my school since I have a busy schedule and I do not go out that much.

    • Well sweetie, first of all, if you have access to a computer and printer, if I were you, I would go on and search for information about Instagram, print it out, show your parents and point out to them what you would be doing, what you will stay away from, and what they need to know. Showing them that you research things you really want is a great way to show you are responsible. Also, you sound like a very mature, rational thinking 13 year old. If they still reject the idea, maybe come to a compramise, ask if they need any favors done around the house, suitable for a 13 year old of course, ask them what they would like to see come out of you effort wise, things like that. But whatever their decision is, they are your parents and they probably know what’s best:)

      • that is exactly my problem and actually tonight my parents are going to sit with me and help me set one up. we are going to put on as much privacy stuff as possible. and I just want one to keep up with friends they all have one an di don’t so ya take that advise and show your parents that you are responsible.

        good luck

    • Woops, ** Haha, also I just wanted to add make sure you understand everything you need to know as well as your parents understand, and be safe!

    • My step daughter is 13 and says “all her friends have it’ reality is not ALL your friends do and not EVERYBODY does it (we did not know she had it, when she got a smart phone for her birthday against my wishes is when she chose to make stupid choices). I feel all children need to be supervised when on any social media site because not everyone out there is “nice”. My SD had it (notice I said HAD) she posted pics of her and our home as well as her little brother and thanks to geo tagging and settings anyone in the world was able to view them and since our town is small it wouldn’t be hard for a not so nice person to find her (or my son!) I love both my children and it is my job to make sure they are safe and using a social media site like this I can not insure their safety. She is banned from all social media sites until she moves out or can prove she can be smart about it.

      • It’s not that I think you are wrong…but at my school even the not so popular kids have Instagrams…and also it’s kind of a thing to post only “artsy” pics so if I had one I probably wouldn’t post my home or siblings

      • M’am, I am 11 years old, and my mother will refuse to allow me to have any type of social media. All of the students in my school have it, those that are 9 and older, of course. I am a straight A student, I am known in school for being a good role model. My mom isn’t aware nor considerate of the pros about instagram. You can make your account private, and if your child is a trusted, responsible person, I would strongly recommend allowing a monitored and safe instagram experience. Also, kids not “catching on” can suffer psychologically because they don’t “fit in”. Please be considerate that this may hurt your child. Thank you for reading this, and I hope you will rethink social media. 🙂

        • I love social media which is why Yoursphere was created. Kids and teens from around the world helped create it.It’s not a place meant for adults. It’s all about you: your voice. your world.
          You can fit in at Yoursphere. Instagram was made for older people, not young teens like yourself.
          I’m confident your mom would be OK with you participating in social media at Yoursphere.

        • SO I’m a dad of a 11 and 14 year old, I was doing my own research on the topic of Instagram. that is how I ended up here. one thing I noticed is that some of the kids that are 10-13 posting here are posting at very early hours in the morning. Two issues with that, 1 you claim to have good grades but your up at all hours of the night, I call BS on the grades. or your a creeper that is posing as a child, trying to teach kids how to lie to their parents. Either way not a big vote of confidence for the Instagram community.

          • I’ve noticed that too since I let my 13 yr old get an instagram. However, I know most of her followers and I know that they have relatively good grades even if they are posting at late/early times

        • Since when is fitting in or being just like everybody else, something to aspire to. I understand the desire to be on a social network, but there are hazards even when you set your privacy settings. You may be responsible, but how many of your friends will or their friends when they pass on your photos. How vigilant will you be to make sure there are no identifying things in your pictures, where people could find out where you are and when. A friend of mine had his house robbed after showing that he was on vacation on his instagram with the caption “missed flight” How did this info get to a criminal. And if you are thinking it was a friend that did it, they caught the person and he did not know this person. If you have a smart phone, you can easily call, text, facetime and send pictures to your friends privately, Being social should be a personal experience,and private. If you will be emotionally scarred from not being on the social network, then definitely couldn’t handle any negative feedback you get from misplaced social networking. By the way 1 in every 4 girls and 1 in every six boys are molested by the age of fourteen. Instagram has rules for a reason. There are too many predators out there attempting to gain access to children’s accounts, via friendships. Remember, child predators can be cousins, uncles, aunts or other relatives of your friends. You truly cannot control what people see, and privacy setting on geolocating etc are not foolproof. Consider this when demanding an account. Make the smart choice and make an effort to stay in contact with your friends.

        • i hate that im 12 and wish that i can be 13 but i dont know if im trusted on any social websites by my parents because my stupid sister is telling them that my friends influences me wrongly and i think i can make my own choices i neeeeeed help?

        • Thanks, icare! I am giving that 2 my paranoid mum right now! That will make her think. Thx I owe u 1

      • I agree. I just saw my 12 year old sons account and was appalled. Both his school and I have been over the rules several times about what he can and cant post. In a matter of 2 weeks he has broken all the rules, managed to follow almost 1000 people and has over 250 followers. THere are only 140 kids in his school so who knows who these other people are. IMHO kids this young are not responsible enought for social media acconts because it all revolves around trying to prove something to their friends. We never had and got on fine. They dont NEED it, they just want it. big difference. As you did, so did I. Complete ban on social media until he is at least 15.

    • I went thought the same issues with my mom at age 8. I really wanted an insta but she said I was too young so I got it at 9 years. I am 10 now. There is a secret to get an insta… All you need to do is secretly create an email, get an insta, and ur set. My mom doesn’t know about my Instagram because she said 12 I could. I can’t wait so I created one and she doesn’t know because she checks my iPad. But I put it in the education section and downloaded a bunch of smart apps and put insta last. So when I am 12 I create a new account with her…delete it then keep my old one. It’s a genius plan and I never got caught and never will. It is fine what will ur parents do get

      • Wow ok I don’t think I’m doing that…what’s the point in having an Insta if you have to hide it?

      • Thank you for the tips…… I now know more things to look for on my daughters iPod to help me keep her safe.

      • i cant believe you are doing that. that is just plain wrong. Im sorry for you and your parents that you did that. Im 12, and i have learned, your parents will find out. u don’t believe it now… but they will. parents always do. so, take some good advice and get rid of your account, cause the only reason that you even have instagram, is because you are trying to be cool. hiding an instagram isn’t going to make you cool. i am popular at school, and i don’t have and instagram. just wait, and your mom will trust you. that’s what Im doing. Ive been waiting almost 2 years now, and my parents are finally letting me get an account. if i had hidden an account, i wouldnt get one right now, my parents wouldnt trust me anymore, my friends would laugh at me, and i would be embarressed. but it has been worth the wait. besides, you only have to wait a little while longer. i know you probably wont listen to me, but you should know that what your doing is very wrong, and nothing good will come out of it. its the worst when you have to lie to your parents… cause you cant! they know when your lying. they know you better than you know yourself. i hope that you feel really bad about what your doing. its going to get you nowhere.

  • Im 13,and i really want an instagram. i get mostly A’s and i help out around the house. All my riends have it except me. How do I prove to my parents I’m responsible enough?

    • Well to show ur parents that u r responsable to have an instagram dont do anything bad on ur phone or computer. So what i did was i proved my mom that i was good and responsable enough to have an Instagram is that dont talk back do ur chores and clean ur room and get a good conduct in school and dont do anything ur not suposed to do and i am 13 also and this how i did this!!!!!!!!

    • You should ask your parents what would help show them you are responsible. In the meantime check out Yoursphere. A portion of our members also have Instagram accounts as well. We’re in the Apple store. Let us know what you think we’d love to have you a part of the community.

      • So what even is yourshphere or whatever? None of my friends children know what it is and neither does mine. If my child has one but doesn’t know anyone on it, doesn’t that make it dangerous? I don’t want her connecting to random strangers.

        • Hi Random Mom:

          If your child joins Yoursphere with his/her friends, he or she can connect with them.
          It just takes one friend to tell another about an app.

          Yoursphere is available on iphones, ipods, ipads, and Android phones in a few short weeks.

          Thanks for asking.

    • A good idea might be to make a deal with your parents. For example, cleaning your whole basement and/or not back talking for a week. There are many different ways to make a deal or agreement! Anyone else have any ideas?

    • Hi Starbucks. Do some research on Instagram print it out and show them. Explain that u would use it responsibly. Tell them the pros of it.

  • My friends from my old school have instagram,
    and so do my new friends,and i really want an
    account but my parents dont think its a good
    idea. If i did, i would only post pics of animals
    and sweets and plants. I also want it because i
    feel that i am being forgotten by my old friends,
    and i dont know their email adresses.(i cant vist them
    either).I also enjoy taking pictures. Is it a good idea for me to have an account?

    • Well, It might help. You don’t even have to post anything and maybe you could just use it to chat with friends. Also, your parents can create an account and follow you so that they can monitor your access. It’s a good idea to mention that to them. 🙂
      Best Wishes!

    • Check out Yoursphere. It’s free and available in the Apple store. You’re photos would be fantastic in the Animal and Pets Sphere. You’ll connect with other kids and teens that like the same type of things you do. We’d love to see your photos. (If you’re 12 or younger a parents email is requested at sign up because we care out the privacy of young teens).

    • You should really explain to your parents how you miss your old friends and you want an Instagram to keep up with them

        • I know how u feel alicia. Mine don’t get this either. Im showing them Icare because I cares note and as a last resort im doing what thought10 said and getting secret account. Read their comments they might help.

        • Ask them if you can have an account in your name but not post pictures or anything, just to keep up with friends. Mine started out like that because my friend moved schools and not we talk a lot.

    • Pig Girl,
      Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, or that it is age appropriate for you. Instagram requires that you be 13, if they find out you’re not they’ll close your account. If you still want one anyway, talk with your parents, let them look into it and help you decide if its right for you at your age. If they say no, I’d follow their advice, they only want to keep you safe.

      • Instagram cannot really tell your age but still, if you are young and cannot handle some slightly mature content I would suggest We Heart It, it has cool pictures but you do not tell about your identity

  • I am age 10-12 and I want an Instagram my friends have it and they ask me if I have one I say no I feel left out whenever that happens

    Should I get one?

  • I do not personally have an Instagram, but I really want one. All of my friends at school have one and I just wanted to give it a shot. They said if you put your profile on private and accept only your friends request then it is pretty safe. Some people are really smart and could hack into your account and post weird pics, that you would get blamed for. So what I’m trying to say is be careful and you can have a goodtime and be safe.

    • It’s pretty safe as long as your private. Although, make sure to tell ABSOLUTLEY NO ONE your password. My friend told this girl she thought was one of her best friends the password and she hacked her account and posted private stuff

  • Hi–
    The children next door to me have Instagram accounts. They are 8 and 9 years old. They put stuff out their that put them at risk. I reported their accounts to Instagrams, but have no real proof of their age. I sent copies of them being on a 4th and 3rd grade schedule from school. This has been 3 weeks ago. So, I guess you can report but it does no good. I worry about these children, they have poor adult supervision……

    • Joan,
      You need to tell these children’s parents what is happening! It may be the only way to keep them safe. If the parents do know and are not putting a stop to it, you really should let a Police Officer know, just in case. Because you never know who’s out there, even if their user name is unicornprettyrainbows123 (or something like that)!!!

  • I agree with this but think that Instagram is not safe at all. My 14 year old sister was introduced to some very bad things on this site. I believe for you to be able to have one you should be much older than 13 or even 14. I am 24 and just got one 3 or 4 months ago. Please if you are younger than 14 be careful!

    • i think instagram has its ups and downs i mean come on yes it has much more ups then downs so to me you should be the appropriate age and go through the dangers

      • I really want instagram because alot of my friends have it. I totally agree with ……says:. It has its ups and downs. I have heard of alot of positive things from instagram and a lot of negetive. but i think that if you only follow a few close friends and no famous people that have fake accounts and if you only let close friends follow you, than you won’t have a problem. i think, Misty W, that your sister was irresponsible with her account and that you just have to be very wise with your account. Also dont just post pictures of yourself. post pictures of pretty cupcakes and things that don’t make you look physically attractive and self-obsessed. i hope this will make your instagram experience a whole lot better and safer.

    • ohhh
      I would love to get instagram but is there a way to not see an inappropriate photo or coment could a word or words be blocked.

    • I’m not saying your wrong… But if your sister is 14 she is in 8/9 grade? She is probably already introduced to some inappropriate things at school. Trust me I would know, school is a lot more inappropriate than adults believe. I think that unless your family is very conservative- which is not a bad thing because my family is- that she should be mature enough to have an Instagram

  • Having read this I believed it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together.
    I once again find myself spending a lot of time
    both reading and commenting. But so what, it
    was still worthwhile!

  • I don’t have instagram personally, I have not yet asked my parents either, because I think that I’m too young (I am age 11-13, not going to tell my real age).I kinda wanted it when I first heard of it, because all my classmates had Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and all that social networking sites. I felt a little left out, but I then realised, I didn’t really need it. But really, Instagram caught my eye, because you could edit photots, then post them. But really, what not a lot of people have understood, is that you don’t need to post a photo of your face. You could post a drawing, or a beautiful photo of the Statue of Librety if you went to New York (Ran out of ideas xP), so if kids follow those rules, there isn’t really a danger, because they can’t be picked on and cyber bullied, because the bully doesn’t know your age, or gender, so they can’t judge you. To me though, Instagram looks safe :).

  • I am 10 and I love Instagram ! It’s a fun place to post quotes and pics-it’s really safe and if you use it very wisely than you won’t have any problems with Instagram!

  • I am 14 years old and have a Instagram. I don’t think it is safe for kids under 13 because a lot of people post BAD things and it may contain some overage images younger kids will find disturbing or gross. If you are a tween like 12 then that’s okay because you can handle that stuff. If younger than I wouldn’t recommend Instagram for you and would stick to school work.

  • Hello! I’m Brittany and I am 14 years old. So i have a lot of experience with Instagram or as it’s also called , IG. I’ve had it for over a year now, almost two, and let me tell you, most of these comments are inaccurate. For one, in my two years on instagram, yes i have seen inappropriate pictures, but guess what? I basically had to search for them. Tags aren’t exactly very safe.. for example you look in the “thin” or “skinny” tags and you will see A LOT of pictures of girls who use Instagram as an outlet for their problems.. but it can make other people gain these problems. It’s like a trigger. For example, I looked up “thin” once.. and believe it or not, if I didn’t have self control, i would’ve spent all day looking at these terrible pictures of girls with bloody wrists and captions describing their situations. Point is, Instagram is only bad if you make it that way. Personally.. I never go on the “Explore” page, not because its bad, but because i don’t want to. If you make your page private, make sure not to geotag your location, block people you don’t want seeing your profile, and follow the right people, it can be really fun. There’s no way to privately message.. you can only comment back and forth but anyone who can see the photo can see the comments, so really, if you’re a parent wondering if you should allow your child to get an instagram, let them. But monitor it until you feel comfortable enough. Make them understand the dangers out there, and that they really don’t want to get involved with it. Personally, I do think you should follow the thirteen year age rule to sign up. But honestly, if you don’t go looking for trouble on instagram, you won’t find it.

      • No it will only send to your friends (the people you have accepted to follow). however if you make yourself public than everyone will be able to see it if they go into your account.

    • I’m a parent, and this response made me absolutely certain that I will hold off on Instagram for as long as possible. My daughter is responsible and makes good decisions, but she has no need in her life for the type of images you’re describing.

      Instead, we’ll have friends over to hang out and listen to music or go to the beach or go roller skating or eat pizza or make cookies or have BBQs. She can read a book or watch a little TV. We can play board games, go to the movies, go to a park, play on the zipline.

      Kids are curious, and if there are nasty (or sad – those cutting pictures make me want to cry for those girls) pictures it’s human nature to explore them. But part of my job as a mom is to choose what I expose my daughter to….and why a young teen would need access to this is beyond me.

  • this is stupid instagram is a social network where kids can show pics of their vacation and stuff. its not bad all my friends who are 13 use and love it. just let kids do wot they want

    • It’s not stupid and those seemingly innocent pics from vacation can easily go on a pedophile sharing website…there are plenty of websites where non-nude photos of children are shared…and that geo location tagging that you thought was so cool to show where you went on vacation also shows the soccer field where you are after school most days… So to recap that vacation shot can end up in the hands of a pedophile who could then through geolocation know where to find you, and if you supplied your phone number and email in your set…they have those too. hmmm not stupid that parents aren’t charmed by this.

  • it’s funny that there are sites like this. no one gets up in arms over google providing links to on demand porn. any 8 year old can figure out how to see girly pics and videos online these days, instagram is probably the most inefficient way of doing so.

    • Thats why I block all sites that are not in the “allowed sites” list under the parental controls on my Mac. Terrible things that no 8 year old should see can come up under a seemingly innocuous google search.

      If you had a child, I’m guessing you’d know these things and perhaps have a bit more grace for the concerns expressed here.

  • Ah, instagram. Such a great and free app. Now, I have seen things way more disturbing at my school, as a fifth grader. Me and my fellow classmates have taken “family life” classes, and I was surprised when we were introduced to the male and female reproductive systems. I have not seen anything as disturbing and disgusting as what I have seen in that very room. Heck, I have not noticed anything racist, sexual, ect. No need to worry parents, you need to understand that this generation is different than the last, and that your child is starting to mature. Look at what we have now; Fancy computers, walkin’ robots, and believe it or not, a group of scientists have invented a machine that can actually control living things. Instagram is a place where kids and adults can let thier creativity out. That being said, allow me to mention that school is doing the opposite of that. It seems that the smartest students in my class are the ones that are the most creative. I believe that children like me should be allowed to use these services, without the feeling that they are not allowed to do everything adults can do. I am a hispanic-american, and have been called names because of my race. Obviously, what race I am is not in my control. I have not seen any kind of this type of behavior on instagram. You do not want them to get the feeling that they can not do everything that adults can do, we are all humans, and tweens and adults should both have equal rights. I focus my life on studying technology. We are not 5 year olds anymore, we can speak, do math, and much more to the point where we will become smarter that our parents, graduate, and earn a worthless piece of paper saying that we survived being caged up in small little classrooms for seven hours, every day. Almost 96% of Americans forgot almost 95% of what they learned. Knowledge is being forced into children, and it is unfair. What i am trying to say is to let your kids feel free to do anything they want on instagram, but a little peek at what they have been doing won’t hurt.
    Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.”

    • Listen, I get it. Kids and teens feel like they are invincible — they always have, and they always will. You feel like there is nothing that you can’t handle, whether it is information, conversations, relationships, or whatever. I get it. Been there, done that. The fact that life is “very different” for today’s kids than it was for me is true, but the same basic rules of science apply. The brains of children, teens and young adults take in and process information very differently, and cause them to respond, again, in very different ways. This is a fact, not different from kid to kid. Parents, carefully monitor your kids’ online activity and accounts. Just this past weekend, we discovered that my 6 year old niece had an instagram account, created by her 18 year old cousin. Many of the photos were beautiful, but there were quite a few of the 6 year old in her bathing suit (on both the 18 year old and 6 year old’s accounts). Digging a little deeper, these pictures were reposted on several other accounts, and even websites, all with little girls in compromising poses. This was not the intention of my 18 year old niece, but it happened anyway. Parents, do not be bullied by your kids. They may be more tech savvy, but basic rules and boundaries apply everywhere. Don’t be swayed by the drama of, You don’t respect my privacy! Everyone else is doing it/has it/uses it! It’s my right! Kids, we do this out of love and our responsibility to keep you as safe as we can. We want you to learn from your mistakes, but we can not let adult predators profit from them. Bottom line: no instagram for anyone under 18, unless a parent has full access and reviews the account frequently.

      • Well said Julie! The internet is a wonderful and an awful thing. It is a great tool but potentially life-damaging if not used properly. Kids simply don’t have the judgement to see and understand every aspect of their actions. Pictures and/or comments posted can potentially stay on the internet for all to see for years to come.

      • I think you nailed it with this post, Julie.

        Yes, our children are wise and creative and they need outlets for that creativity. Undoubtedly, and the poster above is very articulate and presents a good argument as to why kids should have Instagram.

        If only it were that simple.

        Children – and make no mistake 10,11,12,13 year olds are still children in every sense – don’t lack in creativity or smarts, but they do lack in experience, and they are not great a predicting the outcome of their actions. Kids are more impulsive than adults, and their innocence can get them into trouble as they can not predict what problems their social media posts can create.

        As a mom, it’s my job to draw the line. My daughter doesn’t enjoy homework, but I make her do it. She doesn’t want to eat vegetables and she’d love to gorge on candy, but I insist upon nutrition. At 9pm she swears she’s not tired, but if she doesn’t go to sleep the next morning will be a nightmare. She’s still learning, and it’s my job to keep teaching her.

        I’m okay with saying, “Not yet. It’s not time. Social media will wait for you.” And I’m okay with continuing to have that conversation with her on a weekly basis, explaining my rationale, and listening to her pleading, because it’s my job as a mom to protect her best interests. I’m even okay with her being mad at me for not giving me the answer she wanted, because I know that she knows it’s done out of love.

        And then we go do something fun, invite a friend over, and move on with our lives. We’ve got a good relationship, and I don’t need to cave on important things just to please her.

      • I’m am a preteen and my parents will only let me on games like animal jam or jump start. Almost everyone in my class has an Instagram, but if the age limit is thirteen, than I’d rather wait until I’m thirteen to get one. I bet if you get caught on it and are under the age limit than you probably won’t ever be able to make an account again. I already got grounded for almost two months for making a Facebook. Does anyone know any websites I could get on?

        • Yoursphere is available in the Apple Store. It’s free and you don’t need to be 13 to use the app. You just need to know your parents email address because privacy laws require Yoursphere to ask for a parent’s email. Hope you check it out. We’d love to have you join the community.

  • I am 10-12 and I want a Instagram. I have promised myself to only follow people I know. Some of my friends have one and I asked them about it. They said they block people with inappropriate things and are careful. I am wondering about vine though. Will someone help me out with both of those? I am researching currently.

    • Wow vine? Seriously your parents need to be the ones you are talking to. Vine is fully inn appropriate…and at your age the first road block should be that it is illegal for you to have either account.

      • I am a 13 year old girl that has everything- Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, you name it, I have it.

        My advice is not to get vine. It is for teenagers. Alot of my friends/ other people I follow, we all swear at least slightly in our Vines. So its not intended for 10 year old ears. Wait until your 13.

        For Instagram, I think it’s really ridiculous for 10 year olds to have Instagram. so I say wait until your 11 at least for Insta.

        Be careful on social networking sites, they are full of drama, trust me!

  • Hello, I recently heard of “Instagram” and am very interested. I am a straight A student and know that I can be mature for it even though I’m 12. Am I ready for Instagram?


    • Nope you would be breaking the law.

      And to those saying you can’t chat on instagram…wrong you can comment on pics and others can post more comments…sure sounds like a way to chat. Others take pics with heir phones of things they write on their tablets and post those…

    • Ignore the comment all in caps. You cannot privately chat with people on Instagram, only on the comments under pics, so everyone can see the comments unless you delete them.

      You sound like your ready for Insta! Im 13 and i have had one since I just turned 12. I want to warn you, BE CAREFUL on who follows you, and put your profile on private, so you can control who follows you! if an inappropriate account is trying to follow you, you can decline. (I also suggest blocking it) So have fun and be careful! Instagram IS pretty safe.

    • never it is so dangerous people can trick you into doing allsorts on it my friend saw a rude picture and then her mum took her off it it is very dangerous do not do it

  • GREAT website!! I’m so thankful I found your site! Is their an app that you would recommend that just allows safely editing pictures? My kids enjoy adding filters and such to pictures (the dog, etc), but we definitely don’t want them sharing anything? Thanks again!!!!!

  • Ok so I have had an instagram for a year or so and haven’t had any issues. I mean I think you should at least be 11 or 12. I rarely come across.nutidy and if someone finds something like that it would be because they were looking for it. Cutting on the other hand has more to do with paying more attention not instagram! I mean everyones gotta.learn. I do think that your photos should be private and not geotagged. But don’t stress too much. As a kid you had to learn good and bad too. So calm down.

    • If you are that naïve to think that you can’t come across nudity accidentally, I wouldn’t even post if I were you. Everyone may need to ‘learn’ about things, but an 11 year old getting exposed to pictures that are inappropriate can and has had significant impact. My son struggled with that, and he wasn’t even looking for it-we were looking for pics for a research project. Being aware and engaged in making things safe and trying to prevent unnecessary exposure or the ripple effects of posting ‘sexy’ pictures in order to be more popular isn’t something someone needs to ‘calm down’ from. I think it’s an app that parents, if they do allow it, would need to monitor and educate their children– not just get it and then forget about it. Kids don’t have the sense or computer savvy to make sure they’re maintaining their privacy, and they don’t generally want to offend their friends by saying something shouldn’t be posted. I agree with another post- it could be a great app, and is a shame some selfish idiots choose to ruin it for other people.

  • Obviously there are dangers in any social media site and Instagram is no exception. What I have noticed is the particular attraction it holds for tween/teen girls and how it changes their behavior. Girls with public accounts soon become obsessed with gaining large number of followers. They soon realized that more provocative pictures attract more likes – more followers and then begins a spiral of behavior that encourages them to focus on their looks. Sad.

    • you are right, however LIFE teaches young girls this. sex sells, and instagram is merely the most recent incarnation of that idea. that being said, used responsibly, instagram is quite enjoyable and can be used to browse any interest.

      • Kent Morgan you come off sounding really creepy. On some posts you claim to be a tween and then on others try to appear like your older and that you should be considered a peer authority to the parents making decisions….all in all your posts are coming off exactly like an adult pretending to be a child…and what kind of an adult would be trying to talk other adults into letting their guards down when it comes to their children. You ought to realize your posts are not consistent and you are coming off like a predator.

    • i know! thats why my mom wont let me have one! i told her I wouldnt be obsessed with that but she still says no…!!!! 🙁 🙁 🙁

  • I’m 12 and my friends have instagram and I was thinking about having it but these commets about it sound bad so I won’t get it now

  • Well I personally think as a parent that anyone from around 8-12 can have Instagram because as you become older (teenage years) you start to become more subject to bullying and self suicidal behaviour.

    • Did you read what you wrote before you posted? Because it didn’t make sense. Are you saying kids 8-12 SHOULD have Instagram in order to prevent bullying and suicidal behavior later? Or that they shouldn’t?

  • I am 12 and have just gotten an Instagram. I have gotten straight A’s for every quarter of the school year so far. My parents are don’t set guidelines about me and internet safety, though. But I self-taught myself.. I already learned about the countless danger of the internet; from cyberbullying to suicide; & did some research before I got an Instagram. I looked up articles similar to this one, and read about both the dangers and fun that is in this site to know what I would face. I decided I would go ahead and make an account. I set myself a rule to never upload a photo of my face, unless it was the back of my head. If I saw a photo that was inappropriate,I roll my eyes and block whomever it belonged to because that stuff is just plan weird. People cutting themselves on Instagram are mindless and are controlled by strangers on the Internet…
    I manage quite fine on Instagram, and it’s very fun! I upload photos of my drawings, random scenery, and photos of me (with my face blacked out.) I only follow my friends that I know in school, and only let them follow me. I don’t care if someone threatened me to do something I didn’t want to, like an making an explicit photo of me or telling them personal info. I ignore them. A lot of the internet is a pit of hell, but if you find the right bridge across it it turns into the most fun place around. Just, be sure to not get addicted.

    But I do personally think that other parents should set a minimum of at least 13-15 years old for your kids to go on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social sites like that. Lots of kids are just not capable to keep themselves safe on the Internet. From being on social sites I have begun to causally use swear words, sadly.
    Thank you for reading!

    • your a really smart kid that really makes me feel proud that younger generations like you think that way i just hope your way of thinking rubs off on other kids. stay safe

    • I completely agree with you. I myself am also a straight A student, so like any, my parents have trust in me if I do get Instagram,- to use it maturely.

      I have a few classmates at school that are not the
      “role-model” type, using social networks like, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ect- when, these kids are failing classes, getting into trouble, and on top of that, are beyond spoiled. I personally think that these medias are privileged things and therefore, should not be thrown into the hands of immature teens.

    • I am ages 11-13,no specific age, if you have any reasons I can convince my mom for a instagram, please help!! I am like the only 1 in my school with no instagram

  • I went on this website to help me convince my mom to let me get instagram. After reading some of these coments. I don’t want instagram anymore.

  • I just want to say that there is a dark side to everything. There is bullying, inappropriate language and more in places other than social networks. Many parents grew up before Facebook was barely an idea, and are therefore a little unsure about social networks. The best defense we have against the evil nature of some sickos on the Internet is EDUCATION. Educate your children about the importance of protecting your personal information online. Many people are going on and on about “just scrolling through pictures” when they see something dirty. However, unless you are following someone with a tendency to post material of this type, are just randomly clicking through photos, or clicked on a hash tag which could easily relate to something highly inappropriate, it is extremely unlikely that you will find anything of this nature. Doing any of these things is very unwise, and following someone you do not know who posts dirty pictures is downright stupid. If your child is truly as innocent as you believe, they will be cautious enough to not do these things. Doing these things is like asking for trouble. If you have educated your child on keeping their profile private, and on the dangers of looking for these things, the odds are in the favor of them being safe. If your child is looking for these things, or engaging in other inappropriate behaviors, such as cutting, bullying etc., chances are, you need to have a serious talk. If your child is being safe, they likely won’t encounter any problems. But if your child’s account seems to be mentioning or involving these behaviors, something is wrong outside of Instagram, and they may need to talk to a professional. Remember not to be a helicopter parent, but keep a healthy eye on your child and watch out for anything dangerous. If you act this way, it is unlikely Instagram will become anything other than a fun, photo-sharing website for you and you child to enjoy TOGETHER.

  • I love instagram and nobody will ever change it and I think it’s an awsome place for me and my friends and you should let your children be on at least if there 10 like me

    • Dear Rachel,

      Maybe you should spend a little more time reading and less on social networking sites. You spelled two words wrong in your post. Awesome has an “e”. Secondly, in your last sentence, “there” should be “they’re” as in they are. There is used to show location and their is used to show possession. I also noticed your post was at 3AM. That is pretty late for a 10 year old.

      And to all those parents out there that allow their 9-13 year olds to freely roam the internet either on Instagram or any other website needs to wake up. These devices do nothing but stifle children’s potential, dumbing them down to the highest level of the lowest achiever. Stop trying to live through your kids or overcompensate through mindless gadgets. Thomas Jefferson spoke multiple languages by the time he was 13 and most kids do not know the difference between there, their and they’re. If you really care about your children, you will have them focus on important issues and not waste their minds on things like this.

      And yes, I have two children within the age group being discussed. I went on this website to find out about Instagram because one of them asked me about it. After reading this, it will not be downloaded because I am more concerned with their overall welfare versus being a popular parent.

      My children also know the difference between there, their and they’re.

      • I must say that ever since I have gotten this app my younger sister has started a competition with me who has the most followers. She is addicted to it and is posting her heart out and her private life. I find it is too easy for anyone with the app to see pictures of my sister and to know the exact time and date of the post and to be able to track the location its not that hard! This app is a danger to your children and takes up huge amounts of space on your tablet or iPhone It is filled with creepers and pictures of nudity and sexual slang and vocabulary I dislike it very much.

      • Dear Melanie,
        I’m a 11 year old myself and I just want you to know that I both agree and disagree with you’re opinion. Yes, Instagram is in some cases “wrong” and inappropriate for children under the age of 13. (Or older.) BUT if you can see who your child is following and what they are doing on it, it will be a nice and APPROPRIATE for children. That is what my mother does to me and she gives me a time limit to be on it. In the end, I still get homework done and I do all the things I am required to do BUT I also get to use Instagram at the same time. Last of all, I do know I must have made grammar or spelling mistakes and I just want you to know that I don’t want you correcting me.

        Thank you for your time,

        • Melanie,
          You made the same mistakes. “You’re” means “you are”. Your is the possessive.
          I think 11 is too young. Instagram requires a DOB and does not even have the year 1999 as a possibility. In order to join you have to lie about your age. There is a reason for this.

      • Melanie,
        I wholeheartedly agree that the single most important factor in this equation is involvement; parents shouldn’t simply download an app for a child and leave them alone with it. I have a daughter begging to get this app, and I’m not allowing it for several reasons. The first is due to the fact that she would have to falsify information because of her age. Additionally, I am concerned about accidental exposure when I would rather determine when certain discussions occur regarding nudity, bullying, cutting, and any other inappropriate material that she may see without my presence.

        I am concerned about your tone in talking to a 10 year old you don’t know. You were sarcastic, attacking, and your approach was not in a teachable manner, but frighteningly close to the bullying we are trying to prevent. I would urge you to temper your comments to clearly communicate your message while not belittling this child who obviously needs instruction.

      • Thank you, Melanie! Finally, a sensible person on here. I too found this discussion in search of some answers about what Instagram is and how safe it is for my child. After reading several of these posts, I have come to the conclusion that many of these “kids” posting are actually SICK adults posing as kids. You people are the very reason I worry for my children’s safety every day! Thank you for making things very clear…We will not be opening an Instagram account!

      • Melanie, thank you. I have an Instagram, and I’m 12. It hurts me so much when people use the wrong “there”, “their”, and “they’re”. I’m in 6th grade and in the magnet program, and I know the difference between different parts of speech, but, sadly, others do not. And others also do not use correct capitalization, spelling, etc. I’m a grammar freak! Thank you, again.

      • Yeah I bet it really hurts you so much when people use incorrect grammar.

        Chill. People don’t need to use correct grammar in a nonformal setting on the internet. There are typos and mistakes all the time and people leaving comments are not going to edit what they post. It’s not a big deal; please have some flexibility. I’m sorry if you are annoyed but it’s pretty immature to get so worked up about grammar in a casual setting.

        I don’t agree with Rachel at all. I think her post is dumb and immature. But it is not my place to judge her values publicly, despite what I think. Even if her values are polar opposites to mine.

        Melanie, I don’t think it was worth your time and effort to point out the mistakes of a ten year old. Also you don’t know what time zone Rachel was in; it could have been 12 am instead of 3 (which is still much too late for a ten year old. But again, not judging). Or what if she was vacationing in Japan? It would’ve been 4 pm for her. Don’t freaking make judgements unless you know what’s up! Or if you are making mental notes of how to learn from other people’s mistakes, teaching your kids, whatevs. But if it has nothing to do with you just chill. You can express why you agree or disagree (that’s what the whole comment system is about), but don’t go pointing out what she needs to fix in her life if it has nothing to do with you, dude. It might seem like I’m being a little preachy as well, but the only thing I am telling you is chiiilllll.

        Once again, I disagree with Rachel.
        Once again, I also disagree with Melanie on telling other people how to live and asking them to change their values according to you own. No one is perfect and that includes you. Everyone makes mistakes (

    • If you people are so concerned why not just get your kid a normal phone where all they can do is text and call. Why do you have to get them a smart phone? And Rachel, your 10……….you don’t need a social networking app like Instagram yet. You should get one when you are older and more responsible. Right now just live your life and be a kid. Don’t clutter it up with unnecessary things like Instagram or Facebook.

  • I have worked in technology for over 20 years and have would consider myself a expert technologist. I have have two kids (ages 9 and 10). On countless occasions I hear from friends and family asking for advise on how to lock-down access to various sites. I always mention OpenDNS which is a great DNS service that will lock-down countless given sites for any device connected to your router. Nonetheless, in the end it is best to educate your children on the dangers of the net, lay down ground rules that include a parents right to check any given devise at any time for any reason, and last but not least – parents have full access to any given account via login and password.

    I introduced my kids to instagram and monitor their every move:). I leverage statigram on a daily basis to check their posts, followers, etc. In addition, I recently spoke with them about the following … they should truly know the people they follow and should truly know the people who follow them … this is HUGE.

    I wish we could place our children in a plastic bubble and protect them forever, but unfortunately that is not reality. We must protect our children through education and mentoring. Embrace technology and know every aspect of it. When your kids get involved with something like instagram, stay a step ahead of them. Embrace it, study it, and fully understand it. As parents, we will not always be around and hopefully we can provide a solid foundation so they can make good choices.

  • just confiscated 11 yr old’s itouch. she won’t be getting it back until she is 16, and it will be horribly out of date by then anyway. She got involved in a vocaloid role playing group of kids, which turned out to be teenage boys soliciting naked pictures of any girl they could find. In addition, they convinced her to sign on to Kik, which is basically a porn site for teenagers ( or those posing to be teenagers…) and were trying to get her to post pictures of herself naked. Do yourself a favor, just don’t get your kids these devices, and if you do, don’t trust them. Your kids are more savvy than you think.

    • What your doing is very bad and you shouldent confiscate her i touch for 5 years because of that. My son role plays and he has no problem with any of that stuff. And KIK is not a porn site for teenagers, it’s a message app that my son has and I do too. I do think you should re think your decision because you over exagerating your decision and being a bad parent by your decision. And he is also only 11 and you can trust your children. Because I check everything on his iPhone.

    • Omg! I just caught my daughter role playing on kik and it was so vulgar And pornographic I couldn’t believe it! She just turned 10 last week! Is this “role playing” a common thing with kids these days? I don’t quite understand what they are doing. The “character” she was talking to was playing a wolf, but the sex scenes he was describing were totally human! I started crying when i saw the exchange and I have no idea how to handle this situation”

  • Let me start by saying if you are giving your children ipads or iphones or any other smartphone device and they are under 13 or 14 years of age, please rethink your parenting. Why are you giving your kids something so advanced? sure they arnt allowed to have instagram or any other social sites, but it does not mean they can just go on the internet browser and search whatever they may please. You can’t shelter your kids from everything. Face it. Yea you can be the lame parent who doesn’t allow your children to have one but that just opens up a large opportunity for them having one behind your back! And please your comments “they could be scrolling and without warning be exposed to nudity ect” your child may also be walking home from school and is approached by a rapist! Its the new biggest thing for our youth and young adults to be connected over social media sites. Its time we get our minds out of the 70s 80s 90s and realize this is what’s happening.

  • My first introduction to instagram was a picture “so and so” sent me having “looked at this picture”. When I clicked the link, it took me somewhere I never saw the same picture again, but hundreds of others. ??

    Second introduction was when we found a picture posted of my 11 yr old daughter’s leg, in which she had cut the word “Fat” with a razor. She was communicating with more than a hundred other kids about cutting and anorexia. Never had issues with either before.

    I get that some of the stuff posted is emotional and soothing for her. But, gosh, a site full of emotionally vulnerable misunderstood teenage girls? What a perfect hunting ground for a psycho!

    I am currently learning everything I can to prevent any of my computers EVER to interact with this insidious pos software. Thanks for your site.

    • Tyler –

      I’m sorry for what your daughter is going through, but I am glad to know that you are involved in what she is doing online or through her cell phone.

      Consider inviting her to check out The focus is on kids’ interests, creativity and engaging activities. Perhaps she’ll find she can get the social support she’s looking for based on the things she loves to do.

      Mary Kay

      • Sara,
        Please do not be naive as we were. Our daughter got her ipod at 9 and was responsible with it. She’s almost 12 now.She is a straight a student, very happy child. We just found posts about cutting & noticed she had been cutting herself. I did monitor her posts and this still happened.

        • My daughter has the same issue with cutting. Things happened that made me suspicious she was doing this but searching her Instagram is how I found out for a fact she was.

          I know every kid is different but as far as I am concerned, Instagram is the devil. They will tell your kid how to cut, where to cut, how deep is ok, how to hide it, how to kill yourself as well as give them reasons to consider suicide and cutting.

          And if you think following their account and having their password helps, you’re wrong. Kids make secret accounts (especially self harmers), it takes a great amount of cleverness to find a secret account.

          My sister in law always said her kids were not allowed on social media until they were 18. I thought she was crazy at the time. Of course she eventually caved but she was right. The internet can be a great tool but it is a sick world we live in and social media, especially instagram, is a horrible place for kids.

          • “They will tell your kid how to cut, where to cut, how deep is ok, how to hide it, how to kill yourself as WELL as give them reasons to consider suicide and cutting.”
            Um, so does google, and any other instant messaging program if you instant message the right people. Thanks to the Internet, kids have more opportunity to seek information for ANY purpose, good or bad, it all just depends on what the kid wants to do. The fact that your daughter wants to cut herself to begin with says nothing bad about Instagram or anything else on the Internet for that matter. It says something about her and how she feels about herself. Many high achieving young people go on self-destructive paths due to a low self esteem combined with high levels of stress from high expectations of themselves. My 60 year old mother was one of them WAY before the Internet; she almost died of Anorexia. I think counseling is a much better solution for kids than isolating them from modern methods of social interaction. To want to ban them from social media would have been like banning my teenage mother from using the telephone when she had Anorexia instead of getting her the counseling and psychiatric help she needed.

    • I got a new I-pad to use for my business and my kids were picking it up at home playing games and face timing friends. No big deal, right? Wrong.

      I also was inadvertently introduced to Instagram when I found the icon had been loaded on my i pad by my teenage daughter earlier this week. I was horrified when I clicked on it and found my daughter had left her account open. Like you I was mortified to see literally HUNDREDS of kids following each other with some of the most horrific photos of them starving themselves, mutilating their bodies, teaching each other HOW to mutilate so their parents won’t find out, carving words into their bodies, talking about killing themselves, threatening to kill themselves, making packs to starve themselves. I was and still am speechless.

      If you guys think your kids don’t see this you are NUTS!! Call me old school but giving your kids unsupervised access to all the vile garbage that is out there is shameful. Computers at my house have been locked down with Net Nanny, I-pad stays with me at all times, I-phones have been revoked and counseling started. Prior to this we already had put limits on their phones by using safe browsers, I had access to their cell phone passwords. PC in our house in in the living room where we all can see it. If they had Facebook accounts, we have passwords. Phones do not go to bed with my kids. They had to plug them in in our room before they went to bed. WE thought we were being smart and safe by monitoring what our kids had access to. WE WERE WRONG. They could open accounts on Instagram and use it completely without our knowledge or consent and totally anonymously. I am still disgusted by this and wish there was some where to go with this. I cannot imagine how Instagram can allow accounts like this. It makes me sick to my stomach even thinking about some of the images I saw and these are OUR KIDS. This is your kid, your neighbors kids, kids at your church. Don’t be naive about this as parents. I would love to call the mother of the beautiful young girl who took a photo of herself standing in her bathroom with blood running down her legs and arms and say “Dear God! Do you know this is happneing in YOUR house??” I am sure they don’t.

      I know also that my kids can walk out the door to school any day and gain access to someone else’s phone or gadget and will have a new account open by the end of the day.

      I would never in a million years have guessed that my beautiful, honor student daughter was associated with that kind of garbage. Shame on me…..

      • I know your pain and horror. I am quite disappointed in how I had been parenting. I gave my daughter too much credit, having no idea what she was doing on there. That will never happen again.

      • That sounds awful beth. Why would anyone do that to themselves? Not only that but show it to others to! I am shocked and im not even in u or ur sisters place.

    • Tyler, we are going thru a similar issue that I never thought we would have to deal with. Our daughter is very smart, straight a s, very mature and was reposting info from a cutters site & we recently learned she had cut herself. I was stupid to believe she was only looking at pics of one direction. WAKe UP PARENTS, THIS COULD BE YOU. PLEASE MONITOR THEIR EVERY MOVE.

    • Dear Tyler,
      I am very sorry for what your daughter is going through, but have you considered that she may have been having issues before Instagram? If this is the case then sharing it out to others with a similar problem, althought it is not good, may comfort her. You should talk to her and find out what is going on. She may have just felt like she had no one to talk to about this problem. I am a teen too and althought I do not physically harm myself, if I did, I would want to talk to someone who understands me. Maybe you should find her an older girl to talk to who had a similar problem and recovered.

  • I dont really understand why everyone thinks Instagram is so bad. Yes i understand bad things have happened but just because it happened to one person doesnt mean its going to happen to everyone. My 12 year old daughter has a instagram and is perfectly fine. Also lots of kids from her grade is on Instagram and its a great way to connect with friends. She only follows people she knows and at the end of the week i check and she who she is following and who is following her.

    • Jenna:

      I’m not okay with my kids being able to scroll through wonderful photos and then see obscene photos, beastiality, nudity and violence. There is no filter that can stop that exposure. If a parent wouldn’t leave those photos in their home photo albums or in the magazines in their home, then they shouldn’t be in the apps they use or in the social networks they are a part of. And a parent checking their child’s account or setting that account to private can stop that either. I much prefer an app, a social network, a site that takes all the measures necessary to eliminate that kind of content and instead creates an experience appropriate for kids and teens. Instagram just isn’t that site.

      • Im 11 and i have an instagram Along with most of my elementury school. My parents have an account as well to moniter my page. If you trust your children instagram is perfectly safe!! There are privacy settings that will keep your children in charge of who can acsess your instagram. It is a interesting app that is something new and cool for your kids to try out. If you know your children well enough you should know they would not be juvinile enough to post or look for inappropriate topics. Overall it is a safe twist on social networking for kids of this generation

    • You need to realize that a lot of kids create multiple accounts on instagram. So you think you are following them, but you are probably not following everything.

      My daughter is 10, has been using instagram for a few months but has violated her agreement with us and her app will be removed from her phone.

      It’s not just the picture viewing… you need to realize that kids are reaching out to others via the KIK they post on instagram — and by others I explicity mean “strangers”.

      Monitoring their instagram account is truly only giving you a small piece of the picture – there is so much more these kids are doing with instagram as the launching point.

      • I just found out my 12 yr.old was on KIK which she found on instagram. turns out she sent inappropriate pics. of herself to two “boys” one in NY and one in Canada. My heart is broken and blame myself for being so naive.

  • I know this is old, but I didn’t see one person say this. How about not giving your 10yr old an iphone/ipod or smart phone in the first place? You can buy them a cell where they can just text and call or ones where they can just text or call you. Shocking I know. All of guys going on and on about how hard it is. No it’s not. Don’t buy them stuff that gives them access to those apps. Not going to kill them not to have one. BTW you guys should be more worried about Tumblr than any other site. That site is disgusting. You can look up a tag like cute or watersports and be splashed with obscene nudity and half the kids on there talk about kiling/cutting themselves constantly.

  • My 10 year old has been begging for an instagram account. I told her I would research it before we decided…. After reading all this there is no way I will allow her to open one, but we will read many of these post together so she understands why.

    For the kido’s on this site… you have to realize we are doing the best we can as parents to raise you in a safe environment. As a God fearing parent, why take a chance on exposing your children to something thier minds are not yet ready to experience. Young minds are shaped and formed by everything they see and do. Porn is burned in a child’s mind forever… even if they don’t want it there. Adults as well.
    It saddens me that our world’s normal is turning into a constant battle for what is right.

    I am glad I spent the last hour reading this…..

  • I am a 6th grade teacher who has recently become aware of Instagram-not from the students, but from other teachers. Some of them are following their students accounts to stay alert about potential bullying, planned fights, etc. It is very disturbing what some of these young children are posting on this supposedly safe photo sharing site. Just found out yesterday that one of my students, an eleven year old girl, had posted a picture her bed fully covered with thongs and other suggestive lingerie. She had hundreds of “likes” on the photo, mostly from boys and men. She now has started to have other girls acting out toward her at school for “trying to steal their boyfriends”. This is from a girl who seems very shy, makes passing grades, and is not a behavior problem. The info was turned over to our guidance counselor. We can’t do much legally at school to protect these kids from their own self-destructive behavior, especially if the parents are unconcerned, lazy, or just clueless about their children’s online lives.

    • Thank you for sharing what’s going on at your school. I absolutely urge you to reach out to your fellow teachers and request that they “NOT” follow students on Instagram, (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.). My husband is a teacher and a coach and while I understand why a teacher would want to “follow”/”friend” their students, it is really “NOT” a good idea at all. It can unintentionally jeopardize the teachers job, reputation and relationship with their students. There are a number of other smart and healthier ways a school or teacher can keep up with students in social media.

    • When you’re a junior or senior in high school and you’ve had a couple Internet safety courses under your belt. Those classes will help you from accidentally giving out personal information via pictures.

      You also have to realize that Instagram isn’t really meant for children so try signing up for a kids only social network first and try to get a feel for social networking that way.

        • Hi Laurie:

          Consider checking out with your child.

          What’s important for parents to look at with any site, is the content and culture within the site. So many sites have outside layers that look youth-appealing, but when you look through the layers of the site, sometimes you discover a culture and content like the one described in all the comments in this article.

          I’m optimistic that kids just want to be kids, and it’s our obligation to help them be just that. It’s what we’re all committed to at Yoursphere.

          Mary Kay

  • I think that every one is being way over protective. I think that Instagram is just a fun app to let your kids share photos with their friends. There are settings for your account to make it private if you don’t want people that you don’t know looking at your kids photos. If someone you don’t like is doing stuff to you account, block them and you don’t have to deal with that. Seriously, I think that even if you are 12, but your in middle school, your kid should be allowed to get one. Middle school is when things get more social, and I wouldn’t want my kid to be anti social. Even if there is an inappropriate picture, there is a report photo button, where you can report any thing that is inappropriate.

    • As a parent I’m just not comfortable with my kids participating in a social media site, or using an app where the publishers behind the site/app allow porn, beastiality and graphic violence to be a part of the experience when they know young people are using their product. It’s why for example I make sure our computer or tablets have the right content filters installed. Sadly, we parents can’t install these filters on apps and networks like Instagram. Our kids and teens deserve the opportunity to have their well-being put first and to not knowingly be exposed to adult-intended content. It’s the right thing to do for them.

    • @drew. You seem to have missed the point. Would you want your 12 year old coming across a photo of beastiality or some a nude pedophile? I doubt it. Even if they have the option of reporting the photo or blocking the user, the damage has been done. It’s the prospect of this type of situation occurring that may compel a parent not to permit the use of Instagram.

      • I am so sick and tired of parents acting like dogs and rolling over for their kids. So-n-so said that 9 is a perfectly fine age for their CHILD to be thrown into the vortex of an overly-sexualized society via an “app.”

        Finally, another person out there (besides this Mary Kay lady) with a complete BRAIN. Thank you, “bill.”

        Once the damage is done, it’s DONE. There is no going back. You musta watched “Men in Black” too many times. That “flashy thingy” doesn’t really exist. There is no erasing.

      • Bill…middle school has plenty of inappropriate stuff trust me…there are adds for porn on google and other websites…not just insta

  • I have two kids on Instagram. Unlike Facebook, there are many ‘front’ sites that look official that aren’t that post photos that kids ‘follow’. Examples would be: “The Official Justin Beiber Fan Page” or “Taylor Swift Fantastic Fans” or “My Little Pony Pals”. Others might be about fashion, sports, etc. These sites have bio’s that post a picture and look like they are run by cool teens or some legal organization and such and post pictures that are appealing to kids. Many offer to ‘follow back’ which means if the child ‘follows’ the user, they will ‘follow’ your child. What this means is that your child’s photos are now available to the user. My 12 year old got lulled into this because she was ‘into’ a particular cutesy cartoon character for a bit. She searched and suscribed to each and every character. A bunch followed her back…she accepted because it was cool among her friends to have many, many followers. At first I didn’t quite understand what was going on. I just thought these were photo sites of cartoon characters from a children’s show (much younger than her age I should add that she liked and this was some innocent thing. But then one day I delved around a bit and saw a photo on one that had a boy with a “Do you gals want to F this boy?” and I KNEW that ANNA was not who she said she was but some predator. I got this sick feeling…Parents BEWARE!!!!!

  • I am 13, and I had an Instagram (starting at age 12)
    A few days ago, my mom pointed out that I was on it all the time, and after she pointed that out, I noticed she was right. If you let your kid have an insta, limit it for sure! I was on it in all of my free time, and it was getting in the way of chores, homework, and family time. Also, if you let your kid, you should probably get one too, because you can monitor everything (their followers, who they follow, what they liked, pictures, and biography information.) But if you aren’t quite sure, I would say wait until your child is at least thirteen, the new age limit!

  • Thanks for the article and starting to put some guidelines around use of Instagram and other social sharing sites by kids. Most of the comments seem focused on what I would call “stranger danger” and the risk of strangers and perverts invading your child’s privacy.

    Don’t forget the damage that is done routinely by teens who are using this social tool to bully and exclude other kids on an epic scale. When we were young, you had an inkling that you were excluded from a party or an event, or just a circle of friends, but people politely kept it to themselves (or not) but nothing was really documented. Today kids use Instagram to fully document every event in their lives, and their whole community can watch. Every kid that is excluded knows in full living color what they missed and how much other kids lied to them about what was really going on last Friday night.

    The latest rage is creating lists with pics of the “ugliest” or “weirdest” or “most hated” kids in school and circulated through the popular crowd. They’re using it to target kids they want to make fun of or spread rumors about. If you thought teens could be mean to other kids in person, wait til you see what they can do with access to Instagram and a couple of unfortunate out-takes from last Friday’s slumber party.

    Think twice before you allow your kids accounts on Instagram, Snap, Facebook or Twitter. If there was a way to prove social maturity before opening an account that would be ideal. Since there isn’t, pay attention. Watch carefully. Don’t be fooled. And don’t think your kid is nicer than the others and wouldn’t participate in stuff like that.

    • I am a 27-year-old single mother to a 9-year-old girl. Her father is currently serving 40 years in prison as a convicted child molester, statutory rapist, and for exploitation of a minor under the age of 12. I can tell all of you parents myspace, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram were a go to resource for him to connect with other pedophiles. Luckily my daughter was not one of his victims. For this reason alone I am obsessively protective of my daughter. Over the past 3 weeks she has been using Instagram. She sat down with me the night she got it and took me on a tutorial on how to use it because I was livid my mother let her get an account. We set all of the security settings possible to make it non accessible to people that were not following her and made it a requirement she had to accept a request before someone could begin following her. I’ve gone on her Instagram numerous times because she followed my sister and a couple of “aunts” aka my close friends, I’ve read comments she’s posted, comments her friends have posted, most of it doesn’t make sense to me, because such improper English was used but I didn’t notice any “bad” behaviors or bad pictures. Until last week. My IPad received a message from one of my daughters friends asking MY daughter to stop making fun of her on Instagram. Needless to say I was LIVID thinking my daughter was cyber bullying someone. So I wrote back to the girl asking in what way was my daughter making fun of her, she explained it to me, before I could even search the Instagram for said bullying I received a message back from the girls father explaining my daughter had done nothing wrong, the girl gave her permission to post the picture and she was regretting it now because of the comments other people were posting on it, relieved that I didn’t have to rain the wrath of God on my daughter I still went and found the picture in question, I read the comments, and could see from a 9-year-old’s perspective why she would be upset. It was deleted. I had been so focused trying to protect my child from predators and derogatory images I completely overlooked potential bullying.

      The moral of my story is my daughter knows what stranger danger is and has been given the rules of not engaging strangers and etiquette online, it doesn’t matter what I say to her or what she has seen (News channels discussing girls missing because they met up with someone claiming to be their age on the Internet) she’s 9. She does not have the maturity to understand the severity or cascading effect actions or words said or done on the Internet can have. These social networking sites shouldn’t be offered to anyone under the age of 18. There should be practices in place to prevent minors from gaining access, asking for credit card verification almost like what pay pal does, to verify they are 18.

      I was 17 when I had my daughter, I was not open and honest with my parents about myself or my activities, my parenting approach is almost a 180 from my parents, please don’t think I’m saying they were bad parents, believe me they weren’t, I love them dearly, they are my life support, my approach to my daughter some may call frightfully honest, I don’t sugar coat things for her, I don’t minimize, and I don’t beat around the bush. Kids are going to do what they want regardless of how they’re raised, we are merely here to guide them in the right direction and protect them from immanent dangers. While I still maintain the control in my daughters life it will be my choice what she can and can not do. I can tell you as of right now my daughter does not have access to Instagram nor will she in the near of far future.

      • Dear “Seriously Concerned”,

        Thank you for writing and sharing your parenting story. It’s really great to learn about digitally involved parents like yourself.

        Based on the mainstream social networks that are available today, I agree that kids and young teens should not be on them. However, the good news is, there are great places online that have been made just for kids. I tell parents that much like the television industry, social media is the same. In TV, there at one point not so long ago, there used to only be the major networks that you could choose from: ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS. Then along came cable. And with cable came choice in children’s programming. That same thing is happening today in social media. There is, for example, a social network made just for kids where the content is created by kids, for kids, and where safety and privacy are a key part of the experience. I encourage you to introduce your child to the social media channel made just for her. And, keep up the great parenting.

        Best. Mary Kay

    • Thanks for reaching out and sharing your knowledge.

      This conversation here presents an opportunity for a “reminder” to parents. Ultimately you and I are ALL responsible for our kids’/teens’ actions online. So, if you give your child access to the Internet – whether through the Xbox, Wii, computer, iPad, iTouch, iPhone, etc., then understand that we are responsible for our children’s actions when using these devices.

      We must all talk to our kids about why it is so very wrong to create “ugliest” “weirdest”, and so on groups. Then, if your child slips up, and does something like this, then hold them accountable for their actions. The challenge we parents face today – unlike parents of the past that all have “new age challenges” is that no one has prepared – until now – us with the tools and knowledge we each need to educate our kids about what is okay to do online and what isn’t.

      We may not like it, but it IS our collective reality, so let’s do all that we can to make it better through education, involvement and follow through.

  • Thank you very much for the honest appraisal of Instagram. My 10-year old has been bugging and bugging me for it, and I had not yet done enough homework on it. Your review – and the additional replies – helped me greatly. I agree that it sounds like a perfect forum to share the love of photography but it also sounds like it’s a perfect source for more trouble than I would ever want. My daughter has an ipod touch and chat capabilities but does not yet have a Facebook account. My wife and I are trying hard to protect her from the possibilities of things turning more, shall we say, deviant. I know I can’t do it forever, but so long as she’s under our roof and we CAN protect her, we shall, no matter how naive it may seem. I’m all for art and nudes taking it’s rightful place in art, but it sounds like Instagram needs to be a little more moderated and its parental control beefed up. I don’t think my Daughter will miss anything by not having Instagram, and I have no problem being the bad guy when she says “My Dad won’t let me create an account.”

    • Neal – for your 10 year old daughter, introduce her to It’s an age-appropriate kids social network. Most of our members are between the ages of 9 -14. We are working to give our members all the great things the internet and social media have to offer, minus the pitfalls such as the ones documented here. Social media and apps will be a part of our kids lives, it’s just our obligation to steer them in the right direction, give them a chance to experience a kid-friendly site/app, then when they are older allow them to graduate on to the adult-intended networks and app.

      • Hi, thanks for great info, just when I needed it. Is there a site like that is for 15-year-olds and up?

        My daughter is 15 and just got her first iDevice. Navigating these waters is very difficult. Even *finding* the parental controls or privacy controls on these social media is difficult and time-consuming.

        We let her get Instagram because all her friends have it, and the rule is she has to friend only people she knows in real life, but now that I’m checking it, she hasn’t followed that rule. Consequences will follow! But I would love for her (and her friends, because it’s worthless to us if she doesn’t know anyone on the social media when she can only friend people she knows) to find a more-regulated teen-friendly media.

        Thanks so much for what you’re doing here!

  • My daughter has an Instagram that is private but so so I. I follow her and she I. That way I can look all over hers and see what is coming through. She is a straight A student and very honest young girl… She knows she cannot accept and request with out me authorizing them. We have to know them not know “of” them. Right now I feel like we are good parents who are monitoring all she does.. Right now it is a fun social site for her and her friends..the “private” part is the most important . I have even looked at the explore option and have not seen any thing bad. I don’t really understand that explore option all that well.
    Am I missing something because what I have seen has not been terrible at all?

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Julie. You didn’t mention how old your daughter is. Seems like she might be 15 or 16? I just find it terribly problematic that teens on Instagram, even with photos set to private, can simply scroll through photos and come across the content that has been reported and shared here.
      It is, as I said in the article, such a shame that a neat photo sharing product is ruined by the acts of others and by Instagram not making a youth-friendly/kid-friendly version.

  • Honestly you should not allow your children to have public photos on Instagram. I have it (I’m 25) and see countless photos of half naked minors begging for attention. For one thing, it’s scary knowing how many creeps are just one app away. And the other is it teaches your kids that you need “likes” and “comments” and other attention or else you aren’t popular or pretty. It sends a terrible message. Also, I can promise at least 7/10 girls with their own phones with a camera, they are sending dirty photos.

    • Dear Katie,
      I don’t see a problem about Instagram as much as you do. By half naked do you mean girls in bikinis/underwear? Because where I live girls walk around in skimpy bikinis so it’s not that big of a problem

  • Thank you everyone for sharing here. I have learnt so many important things from reading all these stories and comments.

    As a parent I am very interested in keeping my daughter safe. This means keeping up to date with modern technology.

    I have talked to my daughter about lots of things I have read here and she has had her eyes opened about how things can easily go wrong when using the Internet and different apps.

    I am so glad I found this web site 🙂

  • Ok so Instigram seriously is bad. my 9 year old daughter has an instigram and was lured into meeting with a 68 year old man who claimed he was a 12 year old girl. VERY BAD SITE!!! Never use it. Block it 🙂 just a tip i dont want your kids getting sucked in

    • Dear Maria:

      Now that you know the concerns, please keep the dialogue up with your daughter. Also, see if you can steer her in a different direction. Consider activating an account at, our social network just for kids and teens. It’ll offer your daughter a fun and age-appropriate experience. Thank you for being a digitally aware and involved parent.

    • My Daughter received a new phone for Christmas. She went on Instagram and asked her followers to send her their phone numbers.
      She loaded all of the numbers into her phone.
      She needed to contact a girl on her soccer team today.
      She called the # that was listed on Instagram, received no answer and left no message.

      One hour later, she began receiving texts from this # asking very personal questions.
      Later in the afternoon, she received a close-up photo of a Penis with the comment: “Wahtcha Think??”
      We have the sender’s number and law enforcement will take it from here.
      Let your kids know the information is power and must be kept very private.
      Don’t trust anyone you don’t know very well and dont trust info sent ovewr the internet!

      Good Luck.

      • My son just got an instagram account. He opened it when he got his cell phone for Christmas. I had no idea that he put his phone # on his profile. I’ve already had to change his phone # once, now I have to change it again because he got some strange texts today. It didn’t dawn on me that creeps could be getting his phone # from his profile, which I didn’t know was set so that anyone could see it. Thankfully no dirty pictures, but he got a few asking him where he was and things of that nature. I’ll be changing his number again tomorrow. I have since deleted his # from his profile, as well as adjusted his privacy settings so that only people he knows can view his stuff. If we have any more issues, the whole thing is being deleted. Thanks for this info. I’m thankful there’s still a band of us to combat the trash that keeps seeping into our kids’ lives.

    • I need to add the following WARNING:
      My 9 year old daughter used her iPod Touch to set up an Instagram account because her friends were using it. Her account became littered with child stalkers and graphic photos of “followers.” She simply wasn’t sophisticated enough to set it up properly, and did not tell us she was doing it. She deleted the app, and does not know the password and apparently did not enter a real email. These stalkers now have access to all her friends, and the problem is spreading. We have been asking parents to check their childrens’ accounts, and at a minimum remove my daughter’s account from “followed.” Instagram has not responded to repeated requests to delete the account, and apparently requires a notarized birth certificate to prove that she is less than 13 years old and documentation that we are her legal guardians to allow us the “right” to have the account deleted. She has pictures of herself…9 years old vs. 13+ year old is pretty obvious. Plus, how can this be…can 8 year olds walk in a bar and the bouncer lets parents pull them out only if they have proof that the child is under 21? Of course not, this logic only applies to companies like Instagram (now part of Facebook), so that is intent on facilitating distribution of pornography to children and interfering with the right of parents to control the images of their own children. If one of these stalkers got her in a car, would I need a birth certificate and proof of parental rights to get her back??
      The internet and social media is a significant challenge for parents to monitor and ensure proper safety, but Instagram is the worst example since they refuse, and seemingly even promote exposing children to pornography by making no attempt to verify age or identity (unlike most websites, they do not send a verification email to activate the account).
      Law enforcement will intervene once the pedophiles make actual attempts to meet with one or more of the girls. I just hope it doesn’t take a girl’s body in the woods for Instagram to change their ways. Sorry for the long post, but that site scares me.

      • You guys are only thinking of what your CHILDREN are doing. Think of how many people can easily access your personal information. Think about it, ANYBODY can access your personal info, with the right equipment. They just look up the router you sent it through, or the cell tower, if you use 3G. Yes, bullying and creepers are there. You have to be aware of that. But it really depends on what you put out there. I basically think texting photos or even printing them and showing them is better. Kids only want to do this to be cool, be in the in crowd, and be part of something. Like, you best friend has it. I’m a kid, and you need to be safe. Many of my friends never show the inside of their house. People can map out the inside of your house if your not careful. I would advise you take pictures of yourself or other things with a blank wall behind you as a precaution. I really want to have this to be in the in crowd, to be honest. I have heard of many wierd things people say there, but that is only because they have troubles at home. If your a kid, write a list of all the pros and cons, then show your parents. It might help your case a bit. But, somewhere out there in the world, there is a server with all your stuff on it. ANYONE has access to it, no matter what you might think. But parents, tell your kids to make a list of pros and cons and ask them how they can prove themselves. You have to trust your child fully if you are to let them have this app. It can also be used on ipad, just saying.

  • Hey guys, just thought I’d contribute to this =)

    I’m 16 and I only got Instagram a few months ago and for 2 reasons only: 1) I want to be a photographer and it’s a good way to get noticed and just to practice 2) I want to follow my fave celebs as I feel it’s more intimate than like twitter (which I also think is quite stupid)
    Seeing my friend’s photos was just an added bonus, I’m not really in it for that and I’m not one of those kids that advertise their Instagram to gain followers and be “cool”

    Yeah, I totally understand where you guys are coming from, especially with kik (I think it’s pointless), and I don’t see why some parents let their underage kids use this stuff. Don’t let them on a site called Omegle either: Pure Filth! I miss being that young when I didn’t care about things like that, they’re growing wayyy too fast.

    Buuuut, if your kid does have Instagram, get them to be open about it. I show my rents some of my pics, they’re just happy I’m open about it get that it’s not my fault if people put up inappropriate stuff and trust me, my parents are quite overprotective on most things! If you’re uncomfortable with it, make sure their profile is private or that they block people who follow them that they don’t know, but don’t be a helicopter parent 😉

    Sorry if that was rambly/ranty, just my opinion =)

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your open approach with your parents. They’re lucky. We’re glad to see that you agree with us that kids/teens growing up way too fast with exposure to the type of content other people post that frankly ruin it for everyone else.

  • Thank you for this article. Our school recently sent a letter home to parents warning them about Kik and Instragram and how some of our students were abusing them. I’ve never been comfortable with Instagram but allowed my almost 12 year old daughter to use it with her friends. I didn’t like how even though her settings were set to private SHE could view everyone else’s pictures/comments who weren’t private. I wish she could only view friends then I’d allow it. As it is I removed Instragram from her phone and all iPads. She’s mad at me but too bad. It’s not about not trusting her. I trust her. It’s about what she can be exposed to with the lack of controls on other peoples pictures.
    I’ll check out and if I like it maybe her friends can move to that site instead.

    • Hi Sandra – What you said to your son is nearly the exact words I expressed to my son. It’s not about not trusting your daughter, it’s about being a responsible parent and teaching her.

      He has read the entire Instagram article and all the comments. He said, “Mom, I’m not going to let some creepy adult talk to me, or post pictures I shouldn’t. You talk to me about that all the time. Don’t you trust me?”. I told him I did trust him, but it’s not about that. It’s about the unfortunate amount of content that exists, and those that ruin a great idea and product. Most people that use Instagram don’t set their profile to private and as you’ve seen there’s a plethora of content that our teens are better off not being exposed to.

      I’ve shared with my son, as well, that today it’s “Instagram” and tomorrow it will be something else. The point is, if it doesn’t offer a healthy experience for kids and teens, then it’s not a smart digital choice. That’s what we’re all here working to do: educate kids, teens, parents and educators on how to make healthy and smart online choices.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sandra. Yoursphere 2.0 will be coming out soon….

      Mary Kay

    • My daughter is the victim of cyber bulling. Another girl who is jealous of her went on to my daughter’s instagram page and copied all of her photos and info. Then went on instagram and opened up another page using my daughter’s name only this time she put all kinds of filthy derogatory remarks on every photo. There is no way for her to turn it off and instagram is not helping at all in this matter. My daughter is so impressed that she said that she wants to die. This sort of behavior is in excusable. If I get my hand s on the little 4$#^&5$*() no telling what will happen.

      • Hi Jim – Has your daughter’s life been threatened? If so, I highly advise you to involve law enforcement so they have record of the harassment. Also, do you or your daughter know who the offender is in real life? – Mary Kay

  • I think that kids should be allowed to have Instagrams, just switch your page to private. Tell your kids that they should be very careful, give them the talk about kids getting taken, don’t let them post personal info (address, name, age, etc.). They should be allowed to have at least SOME privacy… I mean, what if they are posting that they are getting you the one thing you want for your birthday. You start acting differently, they find out you’ve been invading their privacy, they get ticked. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A FREAKING’ SURPRISE!!!!! Or maybe their posting that special someone… their crush! Oh, man. I know if my mom saw my crush, I would be so pissed!!! So please parents, especially those who have invaded accounts, I understand. But still, that is no reason for you to go ballistic over an Instogram account. If you trust us more, we can trust you more. We’ll tell you stuff. You should have talked to us about porn before, anyways!!!

    Anonymous (A CHILD!)

  • Instagram is kid safe as lone as you put it on private my 10 yr old daughter has been begging me to pet her have one and I let her. Now my 7 yr old son has one too but he barelwy uses it but I always keep an eye on him. Parents it safe just check in on their account once in a while!

  • I’m twelve, and I use to have instagram account but I deleted it. People kept following me and it got really annoying. Most of them was my mutual friends but I still didn’t feel comfortable.

    I still have a account, but I don’t have followers; my pictures aren’t even on it. I only use it to have the picture effect (which I save to my phone.) and that’s it.


  • HORRIFIED at this kik and instagram. In fact more of us need to get out there and warn other parents. I have been heavily monitoring all my 13yr olds FB, KIK, etc…didn’t quite understand Instagram. ALSO, keep in mind my child is and HAS always been very much into liking girls. From KIK some kid from another state has started ‘grooming’ my child with his bi-sexual orientation…the things he said he would do to my kid made me want to throw up. He’s off ALL social media outlets for quite some time. Kids do NOT understand the dangers out there. Just when we though monitoring FB was enough. Sickened by it all.

  • I’m 15 and I used to have one of these. I deleted it because I wanted to focus more on my schoolwork. Along with it, I also deleted my Facebook, Twitter, ect. It really did raise my grades. I spent more time on schoolwork and I got more sleep.

    I have my Facebook back again but I’m considering on deleting it permanently because of the same reason, and that I just don’t like it that much anymore.

    Anyway, parents, I personally would not let my kids get an Instagram. Yes, it’s a cool social network to share pictures with your friends, but it’s really easy to find users who focus their page on pornography and violence. Another thing, it’s a distraction. When I got social networking profiles, my grades went from A’s and unusually B’s, to getting less A’s and more B’s and C’s. After I deleted it, my grades improved.

    So there, parents. Two great reasons to for your teens to not get an Instagram. Oh look, and both are from a teen. 🙂

    • That is really mature of you and I am thankful for your honest response. My 11 year old has been begging for one and I think you pegged it on the nose. I am glad to know there are good kids out there like you!

    • Hi, my birthday is in alittle more than 2 weeks. I have had instagram for about two years and now there is this rule about being thirteen. All my friends are mostly 12 and they all have instagrams.
      I am turning 13 really soon and I love instagram. When it’s my birthday is it going to turn on? My mom said thats what its going to do and I really hope so because i have over a thousand followers.
      Instagram is my favorite app so plz someone responde. Thankyou.

      • I have deleted my Instagram this weekend, not because I had been told to, but because I was disgusted by the bragging going on. If you are going to get a social network, get Twitter. You don’t have to give any personal info, and you can speak your mind. That being said, this article is a bit uptight. Let your child have an Insta as long as you know the password and check it regularly. Trust me, as long as you don’t follow anybody you don’t know or know of, you are fine. Look, my friends just bragged because they liked to. You don’t have to post pics of yourself, and you can always revoke privileges. I know you are all concerned moms and dads, but studies have shown that letting your MATURE child have a Instagram makes her feel like she is more social, just as long as she know the risks and has a private acct. Also, think about it as if you were in her shoes. If you were a responsible child who knew not to talk to strangers, wouldn’t you want a I


  • My 11 year old has been begging for me to allow her to use instagram on her iPad. She truly is the only one of her friends who does not have it. So, I’ve investigated it. I am appalled that parents allow their children to lie about their ages when they click “agree” and accept the terms and conditions (same with facebook). I’m also concerned that when I ask my friends why they agreed to let their kids have an account they think that it is safe just because their kid has a private account. Other than child predators, my major concern is the “Explore” feature. Let a kid enter a few choice explicit words or phrases there and you’ve pretty much given him access to porn and violence. People have public photos that I would never want my child to see and even profile photos that I would never want my child to see. I wish Instagram would allow parents to block the explore feature. That plus a private account would make me feel somewhat better – in a few years.

        • As a parent I’m just not comfortable with my kids participating in a social media site, or using an app where the publishers behind the site/app allow porn, beastiality and graphic violence to be a part of the experience when they know young people are using their product. It’s why for example I make sure our computer or tablets have the right content filters installed. Sadly, we parents can’t install these filters on apps and networks like Instagram. Our kids and teens deserve the opportunity to have their well-being put first and to not knowingly be exposed to adult-intended content. It’s the right thing to do for them.

    • Do you really think your child is going to search dirty words? I have had an Instagram for awhile now and never seen anything like porn, etc. The worst thing I have seen is a bad word. If you keep your profile private and only look at the photos of people you know and trust, Instagram can be very fun and safe. As long as you don’t post personal information, follow strangers, or allow strangers to follow you, Instagram is okay for a child who has heard talks about Internet safety. You can get an account to keep an eye on your child and ensure they are using it appropriately. If they are not, you need to talk to them about safety on the Internet and what is appropriate.

  • hey i an 14 and i think instagram is a great was for us teens to interact with one another so please dont lets parents get in your teens way of having fun

    • I don’t think this article is telling parents to get in the way of teens having fun. It is informing parents of Instagram and allowing parents to educate themselves of the things that teens enjoy.

      Again, no where in this article does it tell parents to get in the way of teens having fun.

    • Parents aren’t trying to take away fun, that’s not what they want to do. They want to keep their children safe, and make sure they stay on top of grades.

      That being said, you need to focus on school. Your comment has so many errors in it. Try saying it like this:

      Hey. I am 14 and I think Instagram is a great way for us teen to interact with one another. So please don’t parents. Don’t get in the way of your teen having fun.”

      You’re a prime example to NOT let your teen get one of these.

      Maybe you need to focus more in English. Less Instagram maybe?

  • I can not believe how naive I have been! I just figured out what Facebook was all about and now Instagram! My 14 yr. old boy was accepting ANYONE from around the world and posting pics letting all of them know we were out of town. Even though his pics and profile included sponge bob, his NIKE shoes and his new haircut – He was following 547 people and 365 were following him!!! I can ASSURE you he does not know 547 people, including ALL ages, and ALL kinds of things those people were into! He was baffled and grossed out when I told him the “15 year-old girls” writing him how sexy he was – was most likely pedophiles. We thought we were being smart by having controls on our computers, TV, and being careful about who he hangs out with etc… My friend calls KIK and Instagram POCKET PORN for kids and I’m afraid I have to agree. I can not BELIEVE our children can access this crap! I wish I had been warned earlier and am thankful I caught it early (yes, early – it took less than a week!) Parents BEWARE and THANK YOU for this sight. (He actually read some of your stories and he is scared straight. Is selling his Ipod and shut down all accounts. Voluntarily!)

    • Lee –

      I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through, but want to applaud you for being an involved parent. Like you, it really angers me what is going on all around our kids, yet no one seems to care that it’s happening. Hence the reason why I left my job and started this company. To start providing solutions for families. It’s really got to stop. Facebook keeps letting it go on and obviously saw Instagram as the prime acquisition target. But, the list goes on. Tumblr, Formspring, tiny chat etc etc. It’s all around them. None of the sites, apps are putting the well-being and safety of kids first.

      As a parent with five kids, your son shouldn’t have to get rid of the technology or other digital devices. Thank goodness he has you to help teach him how to use them safely. At, we take pride in providing an age appropriate experience. Kids should be able to enjoy the benefits of technology. So, consider encouraging him to keep the iPod. Use this article about what I did with my 10 year old and his iPod. It may help.

      All the best to you,

      Mary Kay

  • My 12 year aold daughter was using instagram and was sent a forward from someone stating now that she had read it someone would be watching her and come into her room when it was dark some night and get her. It was very scary to say the least. I told her to get rid of the account completely. The problem now is she is afraid to be by herself especially in her bedroom. What a nightmare!!!

  • Instagram is owned by Facebook. The aim is to get as many users to move on to facebook from their instagram usage. Most kids enjoy the communication without knowing the truth. Most cannot handle it.
    Turn on your parental controls. Do not let them download the app or any app without your knowledge. It is too easy for the wrong persons to contact your children without your knowledge.

  • I know this post is old but I wanted to share a an experience we had with facebook when my daughter was 12. She was over a froends house. A friend whose parents are clueless. And her friend somehow went from facebook to one of the chat sites that are advertised. She was chatting with men who were grown adults who knew she was a child and they sent her pictures of their dicks. And one of them was married – he told my daughters friend. sickos. I found out not because my daughter told me, I found out because she accidentally texted me about it instead of one her friends. Before you say “well you arent a good parent becasue she can’t tell you everything” let me tell you that I am a good concerned parent. We dont ALL have the kind of relationships with our kids where they tell us stuff like this no matter how perfect you think you are. Some kids are just more secretive and rebellious than others. Anyways, after my initial hysteria, because after that I wondered if their trip to the forest supposedly with the friends grandmother was for real. It turns out it wasnt. they had gone alone, which made me wonder if these dudes were trying to set up a meeting. as far as I could find out, it hadnt. so I calmed down. but i did not allow her over the girls house again. I called the girls mother and told her. She politely said that kids will be kids and there is nothing you can do except give them birth control.The girl now, has major issues, failing school, 15 and engaged to her boyfriend, having sex with a male German exchange student her parents hosted. My daughter still gets pissed and holds it against me sometimes that i discourage her friendship. And I dont care. Its my duty as a parent to get her to adulthood without getting pregnant or sexually assaulted. So let me tell you how we solved the web issue. My husband and I both work in IT so we are well aware of whats going on with the internet. We got a netgear router and we use opendns to control where she goes. she is now 15. we allow mostly everything except chat sites and porn stuff. but its pretty seamless and it works with apple products. you can also set it up with a time so it shuts off at a certain time. we do that cuz she has to get up at 5 am for school and she has sports and we cant have her up all nite chatting and on fb. she is fine with it . the other good thing is when she pisses us off and we take away her privs, we just do it via the router from anywhere. presto. privs taken away. we dont have to do it really anymore because she just knows…IMO, parents need to get a clue about this stuff. so may of her friends parents just seem to either have no clue or they just dont care about it…

  • I have an instagram account and I love it im 15 so its great to connect with people from school and family… but instagram is for people over 13 and i incorage that it stays that way I myself have come accross thing i never wanted to see on instagram but i quickly made sure to never use that hashtag again and my profile is on private so i may accept whoever i like to see my profile. I see alot of people i know r not on private and they have like 40 yearold men who like all of there pictures. If ur under 18 i sugesst you put your profile on private. My mum doesnt know what instagram is but i take care o myself online and im always super careful so i know she wouldnt care even if she knew what it was.
    Role-play on instagram I love it I play Ginny weasley but i keep to myself on roleplay and really only talk to HP (harry Potter) roleplayers thg (the huger games) people are nuts they have like babies on stripper poles its rediculous. Now yes we cuss on rolelay (i dont much) but parents need to relise that teens even if they dont cuss infront of you we do cuss with our friends its part of being a teenager im sure in your high school days you dropped a couple f boms or s boms as well. I have no idea where im going with this now. But instagram is for people over 13 and should have there prfile on private in my opinion until 18. Role play is fine but monitor it cuse i have seen dirty things babys pole dancing and people sexting through roleplay THATS NOT WHAT ROLEPLAY IS FOR roleplay is to incorage love of the books with other teens and young adults who share the same intrest in harry potter/the huger games/ percy jackson/ narnia etc. so thats my whole opinion on instagram i thought might help some parents in deciding if teens should have an instagram if you hear from a teen yourself 🙂

    • Thank you, Abbie. It is important to hear what teens think. If there was one thing you could do to make Instagram better (meaning safer) for teens through age 18, what would it be?

    • Abbie, I’m very impressed with your wisdom and insight. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. After immersing myself into the instagram and Kik world the past few days (after an unfortunate incident my daughter experienced), I’ve been shocked and disappointed with the current culture. You give me hope that there are kids your age with their head on straight. I don’t mean to sound so negative but my heart kind of aches for the loss of innocence at such young ages. I hope when my kids are 15 they have your common sense! Good luck to you!

    • Great job! A lot of parents and or teens don’t know about that wonderful thing called privacy settings, but you really take care of yourself! Nice!

    • I heard on Fox News yesterday that they are selling people’s pictures for advertisement. It was in the Vicksburg paper where this girl was on Instagram and this man came to her home killed her family took her but she got away. Brittney was telling me that there’s this man Millard works with his daughter just had a birthday party and she posted her party pics on Instagram and now she’s missing, this happened last wk. also talk to sis Jill she deleted her account because early in the morning hours there was someone getting into hers. I can’t remember all what she told me but she said their pics was a lot of  skulls and wicked looking pics. Then there was this girl she kept getting messages from this guy asking her to post pics of her with no clothes on, she got scared went to her mom with it and they caught him and 3 other guys involved

    • I think there’s a group for overbearing hover-parents. One-Million-Moms, I believe?

      Instagram is a free app with tremendous potential for creativity, but no matter what you do or where you go, there will be the negative, “darker green grass” sides.

      Instead of banning your children from doing everything, I genuinely suggest supervising the whole situation and letting them learn on their own. It’s 2012. Things are going to change.

      And as for role-playing, I cannot think of a better way to encourage imagination and build literacy skills and vocabulary than role-playing. It’s constant reading and writing. It’s nearly unbelievable that role-playing would be a priority for a child’s protection.

      The best way to encourage children’s development in a well-rounded manner is to seriously oppress them from an early age and never let up.

      Cheers. Scott Booth. Virginia. CHILD.

      • I’m wondering if you have children? Everything you say makes perfect sence until your child becomes a victim as mine did. Fortunately I caught on
        early and was able to spare her from a direction she had no idea she was headed for. I work full time, am a wife, with a home to clean and laundry and cooking to do. And have an elderly Mother. I keep close tabs on the kids homework, social life, extracurricular and sports, there is NO time for me. Now I’m supposed to take on another part time job of monitoring kids and their “followers” on instagram, kik, Facebook, texting and whatever else comes along? No thanks!!!!! I just shut the whole thing down! They can read a book, use their imagination in other ways. I’m sickened by what I’ve learned and experienced in the past week about all of this!

  • Thank you so much for providing us with an accurate description of what Instagram is all about. My 9 year old son signed up for it on his iTouch and I thought it was a camera program like CamWow. Two days into his account, I see it blinking at night so I go to check it out. It was a message from a 32 year old woman on Instagram contacting my son. On top of that, my son had been having conversations with a 50 year old man. Further investigation led us to pictures my son had seen. PORN. Thank you Instagram for providing such an outstanding program to our children. NOT. My son did not remember his login or password so I emailed Instagram (the ONLY way to contact them, no phone number, etc.). Filed a complaint with them twice asking them to delete my sons account. No response. I drove into San Francisco today (about 40 minutes from me) and headed to their building. Locked door but intercomed the receptionist. She was very rude after hearing my story and hung up on me after telling me that I had to request in an email. Duh. Did that twice. So, called the SF Police Dept and two officers came right down. They escorted me to the building where we were able to get the CEO out front. He apologized and took down all my info. Told them I didn’t want to start a fight but I had to do what a MOTHER has to do. All ended well..exeptionally well since I just received an email from them stating my sons account has been deactivated. Point? Fight for what you believe in. And don’t ever let your child use this app.

    • Wow, Gisella! What a terrible experience all around, and how scary for your son. Good for you for going to the police and for doing the right thing. I hope you share your experience with other parents so they learn. I’d like to share your story with more parents across my parent network. Here at Yoursphere, we believe that all apps should be rated and certified to help parents know which ones are appropriate for their children.

    • Gisella, I am so sorry for what you and your son have had to go through. It is a shame! I just recently found out my daughters have been on Instagram also. I too thought it was just an app for taking and editing pics. I checked for anything appropriate on their ipods and am happy to say I didn’t see anything, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they haven’t run across something. I am taking action and limiting them using Instagram. Thank you for sharing your story ~ you go!! I had an issue with a pornographic website that is sponsored GoDaddy. The web address was identical to my kids’ school web address except for it was .com instead of .org and I contacted the school and the local police, unfortunately it got me nowhere. The police said that nothing could be done. I’ve tried other avenues also to get something done about it but have been unsuccessful. The porn website even has the word ‘school’ in it!?! It makes me so sad to know there are kids out there trying to log into their school website but instead a porn site comes up. If anyone has any suggestions for what I should do next, I would be SO grateful!! Thank you.

    • Hi! Scott again!

      So, let me get the story straight here. You didn’t delete the app like you easily could’ve to avoid the whole situation. You didn’t even inform your son of any of the dangers of social networking (especially ones that revolve around photography), and you didn’t even throw away the iPod like you may needed to in emergency-cases?
      You went straight to their headquarters. They didn’t respond to all of your defensive emails because they are not responsible for who comments on what pictures. I’d be rude, too, if you came to my house for reading what my opinions are.

      Also, I think that if your son used Instagram enough to talk to all of these people on photos, you must be completely daft to believe him when he says “I don’t remember my login information”.
      You deserve an award for being such an out-going mother.

      Cheers! Scott Booth. Virginia. CHILD.

      • I’ve informed, warned, and lectured my children about pedophiles, predators and internet safety until I can’t stand hearing myself. My beautiful, intelligent, but sometimes impulsive and curious daughter just recently nearly became a victim of a very smooth online predator. I happened to check her phone that night and pretended to be her with her “new bestie” who wanted “cuddle time”

        Low and behold they ARE Children. They don’t always listen, comprehend or obey. Telling someone how to drive a car and sending them out to navigate are two different things. There are many roadblocks and wrong turns on the Internet highway. Our children are often too immature, shocked and intimidated to use and exercise theand enter judgement. others may be too tempted and intrigued to resist the temptations of exploring these areas they know they shouldn’t.

        It’s completely understanding that a 9 yr old would forget his password! And why would you throw an iPod away?!

        I’m sure that somehow you will blame me and find my parenting at fault here. That’s OK, I understand. Before I became a parent I was a harsh judge of other parents, thinking I had all the answers. The hardest job in the world proved me a fool.

  • I am baffled by this app! My 11 year-old step-daughter, who lives with her mother, is obsessed with this as well! I don’t get the “roleplay” aspect of it and why children so young are “roleplaying” I also don’t understand when they say, do you wanna hang out….I mean, where do they go, and another app I don’t get is KIK. Unfortunately, her mother, whom she lives with is very lax, has no parental controls on the phone and when my husband tells her to take the phone away, call ATT to block the app, she does nothing….it is only because of her older sisters concern that we found out she is “chatting” with some kid who posts pics of some other kid (music kid) and says he is 14 one week, 22 the next week, 9 the next week….and we have discussed online safety with her and the fact that this probably isn’t some kid. It’s exhausting, if only her mother would parent her….but she doesn’t and I’m afraid something will happen to my step-daughter.

    • Here’s what I recommend you do: Tell her dad that you’re concerned and you’d like to activate the safety settings on her digital devices. Does he pay for her cell bill and Internet access on the computer? If he does, this makes it very easy :

      When she’s at your house and you have access to her phone for awhile, enable the safety settings on her phone; you can find the instructions here . Then, use parental monitoring software on her phone and the computer she is using to chat with the person you reference (I recommend the following products that I’ve personally used and the team here has reviewed

      I recommend you talk to your husband about talking to your step-daughter’s mother to let her know that these safety measures are in place. Hopefully her mom will agree that her daughter shouldn’t meet random strangers, watch an R rated movie, or ride in a car without a seat belt. You’re taking the same safety precautions with these steps.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Mary Kay

  • My hubby and kids love instagram. Just found out my hubby , who is struggling with Internet porn addiction, has figured out that you can easily access porn through the hash tags. And you can easily erase your history too. We tried to block it with the iPhone and iPad settings but they didn’t block anything from coming through. My family will no longer be using this app, and I am strongly encouraging others to boycot this app until its’ creators do something to protect our youth and others from this toxic smut. If anyone knows how to block this stuff on instagram, let me know!

  • I will be removing my daughter’s Instagram account as it has turned into a nightmare. She is 12 and going into 7th grade. She is not allowed to have a Facebook account until high school to avoid bullying issues, but due to my lack of knowledge (I thought Instagram was basically a glorified camera), I allowed her to have an account. In the last week, she has been indirectly contacted by what appears to be a predatorial pedophile posing as a 1 Direction radio contest to which girls send their photos. And she also experienced the middle school drama that I was trying to avoid by the lack of a Facebook account. It is the communication that bothers me. Posting a pic is one thing but then being contacted and the ability to have two way conversations is very dangerous, especially for teens.

    • I couldn’t agree more .I didn’t know what instagram was but thought my daughter(12) was sharing holiday photos with her friends.She got really upset one evening last week and I found out that one of her so called friends had been posting nasty comments.She has now shut down the account and I have read more about instagram which makes me realise it is a very bad idea.I thought Iwas protecting her by saying no to Facebook but realise I need to be more vigilant about anything she does online.

    • Wow! Laura and Swimminglady, I could have written this! I too haven’t let my kids have a Facebook account because of so many issues, but did let them use the Instagram app, not know they could interact with people they don’t know. I now have their ipods in my hand, and am considering not giving them back.

      • Kelly, Gisella and Swimminglady –

        I know it’s tough, but I applaud you for getting more involved in your kids online activitities. It’s critically important, for the reasons you’ve discovered, to be a digitally involved and digitally aware parent.

        Kelly, I encourage you not to take away the iPod Touch. But, before you give it back, safety-enable them so they are family friendly ready. This includes:

        1. Replacing the installed browser with another browser app like the one from AVG that will block pornographic or other inappropriate sites. Or, you can disable the browser all together.

        2. Turn on the parental controls for their iTunes account. You can find out how to do that here with step-by-step instructions:

        3. Activate the rating filters for apps, movies, music and more. You can find out how to here:

        I believe our kids should enjoy and reap the benefits of a healthy technology experience, but only with involved parents like you! Good work, moms. 🙂

        Mary Kay

        • Hello, Mary Kay!

          It’s so satisfying to know that there are such happy mothers out there who know just how to get into their children’s privacy!

          I’m baffled at the fact that they would get their 9-year old sons and daughters iPhones as it is!

          Also, as I may have stated previously, times are changing. If these parents of middle-school students truly believe that their children don’t have Facebook accounts, they should think again.

          Take it from a public school student. There’s an estimated 140 MILLION users of Facebook per MONTH. That is such a massive number.

          I beg that these parents stop underestimating children.

          Cheers. Scott Booth. Virginia. CHILD.

          • Hi Scott:

            Thank you for participating in the conversation and for sharing your thoughts.

            I definitely definitely agree with you that times are changing. In many ways, all thanks to technology.

            We believe that technology and social media and all the great apps should be enjoyed by kids, teens, and their parents.
            What we’re encountering now with this particular app (Instagram) that’s amazing and fun, is the unintended consequences
            of its’ use by an audience it wasn’t intended for. As well, p arents giving their kids tech tools but aren’t digitally
            aware, digitally involved or digitally educated in their children’s online activities. In addition, many parents aren’t having the conversations with their kids that they need to be.

            It’s not about saying ‘no’ to technology for kids and teens. It’s about saying ‘yes’, but with the right level of parental involvement. Parental involvement doesn’t mean snooping, spying or invading privacy if done right. It means being responsible parent.

            Mary Kay Hoal

          • I beg to differ. Being a responsible parent MEANS snooping, spying and invading privacy, and YES heaven forbid even taking the technology away completely. I find it interesting that strangers think it’s okay to tell parents not to do these things but yet its not okay for a parent to tell their children ‘too bad, not happening!’??

  • The danger that I have found with Instagram is the hashtags associated with inappropriate pictures. None of the “privacy settings” prevent teens from clicking on the star icon which shows them what pictures are popular across the entire platform. All it takes is for a young boy to click on a popular picture that his eye will be natuay drawn too and he can view all the hash tags associated with that picture. (IE a picture of a sports car can have hash tags like “#sexy” or “#model”) With just one click on one of these hash tags anyone can view soft core pornography and worse. To make matters worse, all you have to do after viewing in appropriate contact as a teen is just click the back button and there is no history of what you have looked at! If you have the app, this is accessible period. I have not found a way to disable the “popular” tab. This being said, I still use instagram but am very much aware of the risks associated with any app that has access to the Internet with 0% accountability and think parents need to be well aware of this risk.

  • I noticed my 14 year old son and his friends are all using instagram. He signed up for it on his phone. To monitor him, I had one of his friends show me how to use instagram myself and got set up. I saw all of his photos and lots of his friends photos, too. Nothing bad or inappropriate, however, now my son has blocked me. What now?

    • Seriously? What now?

      YOU are the parent! You need to take charge. He is ONLY 14….

      Demand that he unblock you or take the darn iDevice away!!!

      • EXACTLY….could not agree with you more. We have three children under 14. They all want to use it but we banned it. We are parents, not their friends. Yes, it is a hard job but your children will benefit in the long run. Let this empower all the parents that feel pressured to give in to social media.

        • And WHY ON EARTH would you like to monitor your sons activities on instagram? What the f*ck happened to privacy? Seriously, let him do his thing. When I was 14 i had already seen most kinds of pornography and naked content on the internet, I’m now 20. I’m good. I do not rape women, neither do I abuse drugs or commit crime. You parents have to understand that the world out there differs from the childhood dream-scenario world you grew up in. Things change and there is nothing you can do about it.

          Sure, there is the occasional boob or bikini-picture floating around on instagram, but don’t you think your son would benfit from seeing some nudity once in a while? The female body is a magnificent and stunningly beautiful creation, and nothing your son would burn in hell for looking at.

          Loosen up, in Sweden (where I live, sorry for the bad English) you are legal to have sex when you’re 15. That’s only a year from now to your son, think about that for a moment.

          • relax, Swede. We’re good parents here in the US. A 14 year old is still a child and parents have every right to know and monitor what they are doing.

          • You haven’t lived long enough to know the long-term psychological stuff that comes from what you’ve seen. I saw what you did, when you did, and lived 15 years longer, and reaped what I sowed. And no, I’m not a religious prude, either. This stuff follows from human nature.

            Seeing something beautiful is not the same as using it to jerk off.

          • I totally agree with u! Your right like parents shut up give your child some privacy it’s not your life let them do what they want Ik ur there parent but give them some privacy you stupid parents

    • Instagram is a fun and creative tool, but it’s also its own social network. The majority of users use it for its intended purposes. I wish, however, that they took into account the teens that would be using the product and automatically set their profile to private. This would also protect these same users from stumbling upon the content we’ve seen on the application.

      Regarding your son, I recommend starting a conversation with him by asking why he blocked you.

      • I agree that a conversation is necessary and open lines of communication with our children are a must; but I also agree that if he refuses to “unblock” you he should lose the PRIVILEGE of using the app AND the device. Children must remember that all of this STUFF they have is a PRIVILEGE and that NONE of it is either necessary or required. Parents can and should restrict and remove as necessary.

    • seriously u wonder why we don’t get our parents permission!! thats crazy! of course he won’t want u 2 follow him! PIVACY!!!

      • Hi “Girl that uses Instagram”. You’re right. Instagram is a super fun tool to use. I agree. The team here agrees.

        The problem that we’ve discovered is this: when 10 million people are all in one place and no one cares about the kids and teens, or thought about them using the service, problem arise. Major problems.

        Every 12 year old like yourself should totally be able to use a service like Instagram. 100%….just when:

        1. It’s made with your safety and well-being in mind.
        2. You don’t have to lie about your age to use it.
        3. You don’t have to sneak to use it.
        4. You don’t have to hide it from your parents.

        You’re 12. You already know that if you’ve had to lie, sneak or hide something from your parents, you already know that something – whether it’s Instagram today – or something else tomorrow- is wrong.

    • Well, “Girl that uses instagam” (pivacy) represents the children very, very poorly here, so I’m afraid this is already a losing battle for me, but I’m open to debate as it is. The awful grammar and literacy just goes to show that she’s probably irritated that her own parents are plotting on an overbearing website about taking her privileges away.

      As a child, it’s just a strange concept of actually sharing little details with my own parents. I don’t want to tell my parents who I’m “crushing on”. (Quotations used to fit into parent lingo) I know it seems like they should just tell you everything, but they don’t want you in their lives. Let them lead on for themselves and discover and learn. That’s all being a child is about.

      I’m going to take a shot in the dark to also say the majority of commentators on this site have also “rummaged” through their childrens drawers while they were at school in hopes to not find anything incriminating?

      No other children are going to come to my help, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to give many facts, but this is my voice. I’m speaking.

      Cheers. Scott Booth. Virginia. CHILD.

      • Dude, we were all kids. We all know the distorted vision of childhood common in this “modern” world. The idea that children don’t want their parents in their lives is a symptom of how screwed up we are. “Crushing” is stupid, modern, & hurtful. Wanting your family to butt out is stupid, modern, & hurtful. None of it will bring you peace or happiness, or benefit you in the long run.

        I know how you feel; I felt the same way. It’s totally messed up.

      • I agree completely. Having a crush on someone is NOT a bad secret, but it may be embarrassing to have your parents know. It’s okay to supervise your child on Instagram, but also, acknowledge the fact that if they are 12, 13, 14 etc., they are growing up and creating their own identity. That’s what being a teenager is about. So if you do happen to see they like so and so, don’t ask them about it. You make think you’re being helpful, but it will make them wary of your supervision and cause them to block you.

  • I’m just wondering what type of “friends” your editorial staff has if they encountered bestiality pictures while the app brought up users WHO THEY ARE ALREADY IN CONTACT WITH via Facebook/Twitter/email. Interesting.

    • Hi Stacy – You’re right; Instagram connects you with your current Facebook and Twitter contacts through the Instagram network, however, that doesn’t stop you, me or a child from viewing other Instagram profiles/photos. The profile with the bestiality photos was just one of the more shocking profiles that we ran into early in our review. That being said, when our editorial team reviews an app or software product, they make sure they cover it from as many angles as possible in order to give parents a comprehensive understanding of the product.

  • Is anyone running into obsessive behavior with Instagram used as a role-playing medium? My daughter has gotten caught up in the craze around The Hunger Games. She is getting more involved in a community of people who take turns posting pictures from the movie or other images they attribute to a scenario in the movie, then take turns writing stories that could stem from the picture. We are not comfortable about the community aspect of this, as well as the emotional relationships that can be built in an anonymous environment where you really have no idea or way to verify kids, teens or adults are who they say they are.

    We’re trying to curb this quickly, but in a way that doesn’t crush her spirit or inspire rebellious behavior (something she can be prone to do by nature). Thoughts?

    Galen & Christy

    • Hi Galen and Christy,

      From what you shared, it sounds like your daughter has a natural interest in creative writing. Perhaps you can encourage her enjoyment in writing by steering her in a direction that offers a platform for aspiring young writers. She can showcase her writing talent in an environment meant for kids and teens vs. a community intended for adults and subsequently filled with adult content and people.

      Mary Kay

  • I just found out by my 12 year old daughter she had set up a profile on this instagram . She was told about it by a friend, and thankfully her and I have a great communication so she told me, not thinking anything of it. She begans to tell me how she is friends with some kid supposedly 12 years old in the UK and how they have been commenting on eachothers picture. 12 years old???? seriously???shows me the mentallity she has. My husband began to explain to her how she really does not know who is on the other end, and who exactly is viewing her pictures. My husband and I are not ok with this. privacy or not. Nothing is 100% . We are not happy about having our daughter pics out on the internet making it easy access for all these sick individuals that we all know about. not happy about this at all. We will be deleting all her photos and info today.Thank to this information I understand more about this

    • Wow, that sounds like my daughter. She is 12 and opened an instagram account without our permission and although I knew she had it and gave her many “leads” to tell me about it, she didn’t. She didn’t know how to make her account private until I started following her and now she blocked me! That shows how little she knew about this program – before she saw me on there, all her stuff was open to whomever.
      The iphone will be removed today as well as the program. Thank you for this informational site!

  • My 11-year old downloaded Instagram on her iPod touch – after seeing me use it on my iPhone! I will need to review some guidelines with her now, after reading your article and some of these comments. Thanks for the great tips on your site.

  • I’m seeing major bullying going on by 12 and 13 year olds whose parents have no idea that Instagram is anything more than a fun camera app.

  • My kids 9 and 11 were able to sign up for Instagram by BYPASSING the age settings in the prefs settings. The app DOES NOT ASK for age at sign up. I’, gonna let them use it but monitoring content. They will prolly just get bored of it and stop using it before I need to intervene

  • I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thank for your time of this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  • I have a MacBook computer and I want my pictures that are on my computer to be on my Motorola Razr 2 v9. I have a memory card and a memory card adapter. When I put the card in the adapter, the computer recognizes it. And the pictures that I have on my phone can transfer to the computer with no problem. But the pictures on my computer won’t transfer to my phone. All that shows up is a big red “x” on a black screen. Am I doing something wrong? The phone company is AT&T..

  • My 5th grade daughter and friends (age 10) purchased instagram app with itunes giftcards. Her friends thought it was an app to take & share pics and at first didn’t realize they could post comments. I had no idea that it was a pseudo-facebook app. (We are waiting until she is 13 to get a FB account.)

    I did not know that this app would have her following and being followed by hundreds of people she didn’t know…..and posting comments… was a alarming.
    Inappropriate language and pictures were being posted…… We came across your
    website and found this article to be very helpful!!!! Keep up the good work!!!

    Thank you

    • Thank you, Sam.

      Be sure to check out with your daughter. It’s our social network just for kids. It’s free with lots of age appropriate and fun things to do! We comply with children’s privacy laws and since she is under age 13, we will request your permission for her to join. Profiles are always private, and no one can follow, comment or friend your daughter unless first approved.

      We’re glad this article was helpful to you!

      Mary Kay

      • Thank you. We will check out

        I agree with a previous post that the app BYPASSES age. A group of moms and teachers signed up to follow our kids/students and were not asked age. Not sure why?? If you have information on this please share.

        The moms and/or teachers have been able to read post and figure out why some kids are distracted in class, acting out, or not getting along. Sharing information has helped the school get an idea on particular clicks, aggressive behavior and outright misconduct. Your website has been forwarded to the school administration and hopefully will be distributed to help navigate parents to privacy controls.

        Personally, reading post together with my daughter has brought up important conversations regarding “personal self-esteem/self-worth” and popularity not being based on someone liking or disliking a picture or post. Tweens are not proficient in perspective taking (in fact their just learning) which leaves them vulnerable….even if they are good bluffers.

        Thanks again for your website.

      • I thought you could set the instagram to also make sure no one can follow, comment or friend your daughter unless first approved. So what is the difference between the two? If you do not want your child to accidentally come across inapproiprate photos then they could not use the internet. So I believe educating them instead of completely isolating them best protects them from pretitors.

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