Instagram and video sharing: Another worry for parents?

video-for-instagramIs Video sharing another online danger for parents to worry about? This week the Facebook owned photo sharing app, Instagram, announced it would add 15 second video sharing to rival Youtube, Vimeo and the  Twitter owned, Vine. “Oh great, said many parents and experts. Another thing to worry about whilst our kids are online”. Another chance for them to be caught out doing something wrong. Another avenue for them to send videos they later regret. Another medium for shares and likes to send an embarrassing moment viral.

But should we be worried?

I guess I am more worried about the rubbishy videos that will clog my feed whilst still trying to keep an eye on what my kids and their friends are sharing. I can see lots of dancing selfies, basketball slamming, wannabe Australian Idol audition clips and more of the banter that goes back and forth between tweens and teens.

Yes there is certainly the possibility that videos can cause more damage to their precarious digital footprints.

I urge you however, not to lament these new additions.I ask you not to worry about every new site your child has the possibility of visiting. I implore you to stop fretting about your childs use of social networking sites.

Instead teach them how to use it.

Get on the sites with them.

Show them examples of stuff that should never have gone online.

Ask them questions about what they and their friends are posting and what it says about them.

Give them some good, creative and talented people to follow. Those that will make amazing 15 second videos. Those that take beautiful photos. Those that capture interesting moments from around the world.

And once again ask them to think for a good 30 seconds before they post anything.

Have them get in to the habit of asking themselves “Is there anyone in the world I don’t want to see this?” If the answer is yes, then you do not hit send.

I will continue to alert you to new sites, new apps, new trends and the new ways our kids are socialising online. I will continue to give you strategies to help control your childs use of technology. I will continue to alert you to the pitfalls to better prepare you to guide and teach.

I cannot however tell you to tell your kids to stop using social media and sharing sites. To do so would be irresponsible and unrealistic.

Instead, realise that a good majority of our kids will spend a good majority of time on these sites and others. We need to make sure that we have taught them as best we can, and that we continue to monitor their use to ensure safe and responsible online interactions.


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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. nikki

    The reality is that parents are increasingly overwhelmed with keeping up with their kids online activity. I am myself quite techsavy, curious and long enough on the internet to know where and how much harm can be done by even passive exposure to all that is out there. I get frustrated with “modern” parenting that pretends to protect their teens’ right to privacy by NOT supervising their internet use. It’s like not wanting to know if your daughter runs topless through the mall or hangs with middle aged exhibitionists!
    Contrary to how this sounds, I am actually quite open minded about nudity and porn, even kink.
    But the internet has completely perverted the natural order of access to these things, and kids are thrown into a confusing and often menacing world with extreme peer pressure to take part. To allow my son to gradually develop a healthy relationship to sex andviolence, I see no other way than to work with restrictions, controls, passwords etc.
    I am aware most parent cannot or do not want to operate that way and it’s a great worry. Gender relations are NOT improving amongst our kids, they seem to get worse.
    I blame the internet and lack of parental supervision for this.

  2. There’s already so much to worry about what’s one more thing? If you’re already monitoring instagram it won’t change that. now you just have video as well to monitor! I really don’t see the need for instagram videos tho. There’s other sites online for that purpose, what are they trying to achieve? I’m dreading my son growing up and how much I’ll have to contend with by the time he’s a teenager! x Aroha (#teamIBOT)

  3. Lisa

    I toally agree – I have four children and I know that if I were to deem certain things ‘off-limits- it would only increase it’s attraction to them! Instead we chat about what they’re doing online, and we incorporate it into family events – the kids use Facetime to keep in touch with their grandparents, they send Snapchat pics to me when they’re out with friends, that kind of thing. I don’t expect them to share everything with me, but I hope I can trust them to do the right thing.

  4. I think I am getting off lightly so far with my teens, swearing on Facebook seems to be the worst so far. But am glad to be semi-savvy and I do keep an eye on them and try to remember to talk about IT ALL. Big jobs, and who knows what’s next!?

  5. To me this is just a progression and in fact there are many more things to worry about. I have to say that I do LOVE your posts, they are so relevant – but also scary! Em

  6. Alicia

    I dread when my girls are old enough to start using social media sites, so much to teach and oversee. I can only hope they are sensible enough to listen to their mother and understand the ramifications of their online actions.

  7. Becci Birdy Num Num

    I just had the argument about the AMOUNT of time spent on FB, Tmblr etc. We have spoken extensively about what’s safe and that’s been OK so far. Just really wish she would get off the couch and do something else!!!

  8. Ai Sakura

    So very true. There’s no way we can ban access to every new site and app we deem as “dangerous” but we can teach them to understand the danger themselves and make the wise decision, or at least lean from their mistakes. Mistakes make great teachers too.

  9. Lydia C. Lee

    Hmmm, it’s the fact that it goes out there and stays out there and get used for what? And what does it do to them ultimately? All that we’ve yet to see.

  10. Robyn (Mrs D)

    I totally agree – teaching them to use it properly and to be responsible is so much better than banning it!! That way you have no control at all because we all know they’ll find a way!! Great post, thanks for sharing xx #FYBF

  11. Grace

    It’ll be very interesting to see how Instagram’s video function will take off. I don’t know about you but I didn’t find The Vine very interesting at all and I was all over it at first!
    But you’ve made some great points (as always), Martine. A great way would be to encourage our children to follow amazing creative people, because along with the bad there is a lot of good out there.

  12. Cathy

    As a parent myself, I worry about all the different applications and websites that keep popping up that I don’t know about. How on earth are we supposed to keep track of everything? I finally watched Submit The Documentary the other day and got my daughter to watch as well and man were my eyes opened..ever since then I have been approaching technology differently. This is a must see for any parent!

  13. The cyber cop

    Parents continually have their head in the sand and have no idea if the reality of putting young kids in an age restricted site. Predators trawl these sites and DO NOT think your kids are not at risk. Listen to those who work in the space for advice not those who think they know best. You home for teaching kids it’s ok to lie online just because mum says is not good parenting. Age restrictions are there for a very good reason. Teachers are fed up with patents who put their kids on these sites won’t say no to their kids And then get left to pick up the pieces. Do the right thing by your kids NOT the popular thing.

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