0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk, sponsored by nextTalk.org, contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim Every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630, the word. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a non-profit organization helping parents’ cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter, find our free video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:36 – Speaker 2
So today we are starting a four-part series on social media. Obviously, it’s a big part of what we do, how it relates to our kids, so we wanted to address it in different ways, educate you on it and give you some tips. The series is going to talk about Instagram. We’re doing that today. That’s today. Then we’re going to cover Snapchat, twitter and round out the series with YouTube and Roblox.
0:00:55 – Speaker 3
Yeah for the younger parents, yeah for the younger parents.
And today we’re going to focus on Instagram. You know it is a picture-based social media, so what that means is there’s fewer words. You’re scrolling through and you’re just seeing pictures. You can caption it, you can write things, but it’s more about the pictures, the visuals. I feel like it’s telling your story without words.
Exactly that’s exactly what it’s doing, and you know, most people start out Instagram on their kids Like this is the first social media platform they give them. So a couple years ago that’s what I did with my daughter I felt like this was kind of a safer one. Now, when I say safer one, there was still pornography, there’s still bullying, there’s still bad comments, so there’s no safe, 100% social media. But it’s one that I could monitor really well because I could be logged into her account and I could see everything that she sees, you know, from my phone. But Instagram has changed a lot over the last three years, and so what I mean by that is before the direct messages were like a text thing. We’re going to get into this a little bit more. Right now, they disappear and so it’s become more like Snapchat and more of the disappearing stuff so it creates. I don’t know how I feel about it being your child’s first social media platform. That’s what I’m really trying to say, kim.
0:02:06 – Speaker 2
Well, there’s that gray area in there now, whereas before you could monitor it pretty easily because it was straightforward. It stayed there. It was just like checking text messages and pictures. But now it’s gone, and so there’s that gray area where you have to have that trust with your kids.
0:02:20 – Speaker 3
It’s more disappearing and you know, the reason I gave my daughter Instagram was because it did allow me to check it and monitor it and watch it before she moved on to a platform where things did disappear. You know, I wanted her to get that integrity, that online integrity, built in within her, knowing posting guidelines and that sort of thing. So I’m not going to recommend anymore that this is going to be your first social media platform. I’m saying, you know, think about it, learn it, pray about it and you know what’s best for your kid.
0:02:46 – Speaker 2
Absolutely your family, your choice, as we always say. So with Instagram, it’s really one of those platforms where people think, oh, it’s just pictures, it’s harmless, but there’s easy access to pornography there.
0:02:58 – Speaker 3
Yeah. So even before all the updates that happened, which make it kind of iffy for me now before any of that happened, my daughter still was exposed to pornography. Let me tell you that story and if you’ve been to one of our events, you’ve heard this story. She was scrolling through and there was a pretty wedding dress that she saw on a picture and it was hashtag wedding dress. Now, a hashtag is like a file, so if you click that, it should take you to more wedding dresses, and so we have a nextTalk file. You can search by the nextTalk hashtag and see all of our posts.
0:03:29 – Speaker 2
People do it by their name to kind of categorize their family pictures.
0:03:31 – Speaker 3
Exactly, I’ve seen it by your first and middle name of your child and then that way you can pull up all those files when you want to print or whatever for an album. You know hashtag is a great thing. She clicked on hashtag wedding gown. It took her to pornography. Now I share the story at our events because she came around the corner. I was in the kitchen and I could. I knew immediately from her face.
I knew immediately something was wrong and she said very calmly she said, mom, I clicked hashtag wedding gowns because I wanted to go see some dresses and this popped up and I was like, oh, mercer me.
0:04:10 – Speaker 2
And I was a shocker. And then you’re thinking, oh, my child just saw that.
0:04:14 – Speaker 3
Yes, it scarred me.
0:04:16 – Speaker 2
It was bad.
0:04:17 – Speaker 3
It was bad.
0:04:19 – Speaker 2
Was in a weird position.
0:04:21 – Speaker 3
No clothes. Okay, I don’t want to paint the visual anymore. This is radio. We got to be careful here. No-transcript. I share that at our events because Old Mandy before I was trying to build open communication, I would have taken that phone and I would have thrown it across the room.
Into the fireplace and I would have said no more Instagram. Like we’re done, we are done. But being on this cyber parenting journey, what I have learned is, if I want them to tell me what they’re seeing and hearing online, I have to praise them for actually telling me, because if I don’t, I’m telling my child don’t tell mom that Hide that from her or you’re gonna lose your app, you’re gonna lose your phone, and she did nothing wrong. She didn’t go searching for it. So New Mandy had a better response. Thanks a Lord, thank you Jesus. I put the phone down on the counter and I looked at her and I said baby, I am so very proud of you. This is what I want you to do when something pops up online that is inappropriate. And because of this, you get to pick out another platform, like I gave her another one because she’s telling me that I can trust her. And so this is how we built the relationship around social media. You tell me things. You get more freedom online.
0:05:35 – Speaker 2
Yeah, well, I think a key part of that that we need to reiterate too is they can’t build that trust or work towards that if you don’t allow them to do something. And so I see a lot of parents that are like, well, we don’t have that problem because we’re not doing Instagram, we’re not doing any social media, Nothing at all. And these kids are in middle and high school and obviously and always, it is your family or your choice. But if you don’t let them actually drive the car, then they’ll never know how to do it. And if you can teach them how to do it while they’re under your roof and walk them through it and know it yourself, then they have that chance to earn your trust when they see something or something messes up or they do something wrong. If you never give them a chance to practice, how will they learn how to navigate it?
0:06:13 – Speaker 3
Well, and other kids have phones. Around 93% of kids 13 to 17 have phones. That’s a stat for my book. You can look that up and it’s quoted in there. It’s Pew Research Center and they’re gonna see it and hear about it from other people. So you can delay social media as much as you want and we always say your family, your choice but you cannot delay this conversation about pornography and protecting your heart and mind and telling your parents when you’re exposed to something Like all of those things need to be talked about and discussed.
0:06:43 – Speaker 2
And you don’t need social media to see things either. That’s the other thing. You know Google is our friend. Netflix, I mean there are all kinds of things.
0:06:52 – Speaker 3
I mean, there were a couple years ago when 13 reasons why I had blown up before it blew up six months prior, before it was making the news anywhere. My baby came home and said somebody was streaming this at lunch and I saw a rape scene, you know. And so that wasn’t even social media and my daughter didn’t even have access to a Netflix account on her phone, so it was like she didn’t even have a phone.
0:07:15 – Speaker 2
but she was shown that. So the bottom line is, with all of the social media that we’re gonna be talking about over the next four shows, you need to learn it. Talk to your heads up, mama, if you’ve got one or family member, a friend, and you need to get in there and you need to learn to navigate it so you can walk through that with your child.
0:07:29 – Speaker 3
Well, and use technology for your benefit. You know, if you’re like, how do I use Instagram, google that, yes, or reach out to us. Or reach out to us. You know we have. You’ll be able to listen to this show from now on. But let’s start with the simple policies of Instagram, and this Instagram help center is awesome. It’ll go through and kind of show you how to do things. You can go there and search. All users are supposed to be 13 years old.
0:07:52 – Speaker 2
0:07:53 – Speaker 3
No, no, everybody’s laughing at this, everybody’s like. Is that a real guideline? If you go to the Instagram help center, it will say all users need to be 13 years old. They aren’t. Many are not. It also says that if you know of a child using Instagram under 13, that they will, we can report it and they will take care of it. So, for example, the pornography picture that my daughter showed me I put the phone down on the island so she didn’t see it. After we had our discussion, I took her phone in my bedroom and I reported all of those to Instagram. A day later I went and I checked and they were down. I made sure they were down. So if you see something like that, do report it. I do think Instagram tries to get to it. Now there’s probably a lot of stuff coming at them, so if it doesn’t get taken down, go back so you can report things and they will respond and that helps not only your child but just protecting others, and so that’s like a civic duty, yeah.
And I will tell you about this 13 year old thing, this 13 year old age thing. My daughter was younger than 13 when she got Instagram. She was in middle school. I had her wait till middle school, but again, Instagram has greatly changed and so now there’s updates all the time, and so this show literally in two months there could be another update and this show would be outdated. This is how fast technology moves. So now I am saying to parents they need to be 13, because there’s a lot of disappearing things that happen now in the direct messaging.
0:09:20 – Speaker 2
Well beyond that. I think we need to go back to the point that we mentioned before about private and public accounts. Yes, there are 800 million users, but some people have multiple accounts, especially kids. That’s a thing, and we need to explain what that means, so parents don’t freak out.
0:09:34 – Speaker 3
This is the thing I love about Instagram you can have a private account, and it is socially acceptable among peers to have a private account. So what that means is you are going to have to accept anybody who wants to follow you. You can look at their profile. Now this is where I recommend having some family guidelines. So my daughter has to have her accounts set to private. When she gets a follower request, she has to know that person in real life to approve it.
0:10:01 – Speaker 2
Now that might sound crazy to you Like, of course, they would know that person to approve it. No, that is not the case.
0:10:08 – Speaker 3
I mean, I look through a lot of kids Instagram. You know I follow a lot of kids and teenagers on Instagram. You ain’t gonna tell me a sixth grader has 8,000 friends, exactly no, that’s. You know right away if they’re accepting followers. I will tell you my daughter has gotten friend requests from famous people. It’s not famous people, it’s people who have downloaded that picture and they’re trying to follow my kid and it’s some stranger or whoever. It could be a kid at their school that’s impersonating someone. That happens so a lot of times my kid, if she’s already friends with somebody on Instagram, she’ll be like well, that’s weird. I got a second request from this friend and I’ll say okay, this is your red alert that somebody could be impersonating your friends. So you need to text your friend privately and say, hey, did you set up a second account and just clear it up that way to make sure nobody’s impersonating. If somebody’s impersonating your friend, that needs to be reported Absolutely, because that is how bullying can happen very easily.
0:11:06 – Speaker 2
Yes, they impersonate someone else, they get into your account and then you don’t know who it is on the other side who is bullying you and saying bad things.
0:11:14 – Speaker 3
Or you think it’s some kid at your school that’s bullying you, and it’s not even them.
0:11:17 – Speaker 2
Yes, and then this whole issue with cyber strangers, of course, also people who are stalking and looking for kids who just don’t know or don’t think it’s a big deal. So we have to be aware of that. You have to walk your kids through this. They don’t think about all of this. They’re just like oh, it’s so cool. I have a million followers. Oh, it’s not. But they need to know why it’s not.
0:11:35 – Speaker 3
It’s very common for kids to just set up an account and go. You know that’s another family guideline and you with littles you can start this really early you don’t set up any account or you download any new app without our approval. And if you set that up really early when they’re young I mean, my kid is 14 and she’s still asking me Like there’s no, just I’m gonna download this app today.
0:11:54 – Speaker 2
Yeah, they get used to it. They come to you and they say oh, I’m looking at this, Can we look at it together? And so it becomes a part of your family process.
0:12:00 – Speaker 3
Yes, it’s a part of the family guideline. So I say private account but still talk with them. Now here you got to not have a false sense of security as well. So my daughter, you know, I feel like we know all her followers and if I, when I do random phone checks, if I can say, hey, I don’t know this person, who is this, if she can’t tell me, they get blocked, yeah, like no, and then she will have a consequence because you just accepted a friend request from somebody you didn’t know. So I feel like most of her followers are pretty safe and secure, right that we know them. However, we still talk about how she should not post public information, because what if you accidentally accepted a follower request from somebody you don’t know? I mean, this is the same thing with our Facebook accounts and you know, kids don’t use Facebook because we’re all on it.
0:12:48 – Speaker 2
It’s a grandma site and the more we get on Instagram, they’ll get off of Instagram too. Yes, I mean that’s, that’s yes. They don’t want to be where we’re at.
0:12:54 – Speaker 3
No, no but it’s the same thing. We don’t post personal information about our kids on Facebook because we know, we think we know all of our friends, but what if? Or what if an account has been hacked or whatever? And so one of the things that I see every fall, kim, every fall class schedules.
0:13:11 – Speaker 2
Yeah, so crazy.
0:13:12 – Speaker 3
And this is my school and this is the class I’ll be in, this is my home address, my student ID number, to get into your lunch accounts, everything, and they’ll be posted on Instagram. And so I have said to my daughter look, if you want to post your class schedule, you have to block everything out. Or what I would rather you do is text it out to your friends your really close friends, and I know they wanna see who they have classes with. They’re excited, I get that, but let’s just keep them safe. Let’s do it in a safe way.
0:13:41 – Speaker 2
And you can start that conversation. If you have littles, you can start that standard when they’re younger about the things that we put out socially or publicly. And so even with pictures now, I always first ask may I take a picture? Which throws a lot of people off, because most people are just snapping pictures of every moment of life. I ask my kids almost every time. Sometimes I might forget if I’m caught up in the moment, but for the most part I’ll say is it okay if I take a picture? And a lot of times my oldest son will say no, he does not like to take pictures, and so I honor that request.
If it’s a special occasion I might say please, could we take a picture, and he’ll say okay, mom. But then I always say can I post this on social media? And they’ll let me know yes or no either way. And we talk about when it’s appropriate to post and when it’s not. Family vacations, different things like when we’re gonna be away from our home it’s not necessarily a safe idea to say we’re gonna be gone for a week those kinds of things we start talking about now with our younger kids. So it’s already setting that standard again about things that we do publicly versus privately.
0:14:40 – Speaker 3
Well and set real clear guidelines for your teenagers Like so for my daughter, I’m like no bathing suit pictures. And it’s not that I’m against bathing suits, it’s just there are sick people in the world that will look at you in your cute bathing suit and think weird things and I don’t want that for you. I don’t want anybody looking at you like that, because it’s not okay.
0:15:01 – Speaker 2
Right, yeah, having those guidelines where they understand that, at an age appropriate time, what’s okay and what’s not. If you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk radio at 10 am on AM 630,. The word nextTalk radio is listeners supported. Everything that we do here at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through your donations To support our organization. Go to nextTalk.org and click on give.
0:15:25 – Speaker 3
We were talking about posting guidelines, and another thing that we do with follower requests to Kim is adults who wanna follow my kid. We have conversations about that teachers, pastors, that sort of thing. So my role on that is, if I know them, they can follow you and you can follow them. But here’s my limit on that. You can’t direct message them. No direct messaging adults. So I’m okay with you following a teacher on Instagram and they’re following you, that’s fine. No direct messaging unless it’s school related homework. But you’ve got the remind app for that. They use that for that.
0:15:59 – Speaker 2
And my understanding is a lot of the policies around the country at different schools are changing, so I would suggest always educate yourself. What is the school policy? If the school is saying no, following, no connection between teachers and students? That’s a good place to start and being able to explain that to your kid.
0:16:14 – Speaker 3
Also, we have a role. You can’t follow kids that are two years older than you Now, unless it’s a family friend. Good role models that I know of, but that’s just because two years they’re already dating.
They’re already doing stuff that you’re not ready for and you don’t wanna look at it and think that this is who you are Now. There are definitely some exceptions there. There’s some nextTalk family teens that my kids follow because there’s good stuff and I want them to have the good role models. But the key here is you’re helping fill your kid’s picture newsfeed with positive things. That’s what you’re helping them do who they’re following and who’s following them.
We need to talk about spam accounts, because this is a big one and I know a lot of parents freak out when their kid is like I have my main account, but I need a spam account. Don’t freak out. This is really normal. So the social what it should say social rules, I guess of Instagram is on your main account you’re just posting about those big events and so birthdays, trips, that sort of thing, the big things. Your spam account, however, is about posting every day Like a joke, something funny, something that just shows your personality a little bit more. But your main account is like your pro, that you’re like the store, the main events of your life. Okay, and it’s so weird. I know parents are like I don’t even care about these stupid social media rules. Well, you kind of have to Because your kid is in this world and so you just have to kind of understand where they’re coming from.
0:17:45 – Speaker 2
If they you just have to take yourself back to that age and remember what was important for you. Then it’s the same for them.
0:17:50 – Speaker 3
Yeah and so it just looks different. It’s now on a screen. It looks differently. So if your kid is coming to you asking for a spam account, what I would say is don’t freak out and pat yourself on the back. They’re asking you. They didn’t just go start one Now if they have. If you find out they have three Instagram accounts and they didn’t talk to you about any of them, that’s a red flag. You guys need to do a little bit of a reset and say, okay, we need to talk about your accounts and what you’re using them for. Some people have accounts for Team Sports, you know. So they may have a volleyball one and then they may have their spam and then they may have their profile and they know what they’re gonna post on each of those. They’re very specific.
0:18:27 – Speaker 2
You were telling me too. There’s different accounts for, like best couples and dating account Like. This is a new thing for me.
0:18:33 – Speaker 3
So I discovered this like three years ago and I was like what I was on Instagram and yeah, it’ll be like your school name and it’ll be like best couples and you don’t know really who’s the creator behind it. Oh my word. And so there’ll be pictures and, or one of them. My daughter got posted on one of them the nicest people at you know the school name, oh well, that’s nice. And she was posted in tag, which was super sweet. But you can imagine, because nobody knows who these people are who are running these accounts, they can turn bad really fast. So you know the meanest, the ugliest, you know that can happen. So you have to be really careful about this.
0:19:09 – Speaker 2
Well, and what a great conversation to have with your kids. You know, as you’re getting ready to let them be on a social media platform, here are some things that might happen. I want to prepare you and I think that they would appreciate the fact that you know what they’re actually getting into. Yes, that would be cool.
0:19:22 – Speaker 3
You know, one of the downsides to Instagram is the likes and the number of followers. Because you want to be, you want to get more likes and you want to get more followers. I say to parents all the time, years before they get Instagram, you need to be talking to them about not doing whatever it takes to get the likes and the followers. You need to do what is safe. You know, and I’ll say to my kid I want you to enjoy Instagram, I want you to be, you know, in the culture like that, but you have to do it in a safe way.
The other thing location services. This is an important one. Yeah, this is big Because it’s picture based. So when you’re scrolling through your pictures according to your settings, you could tap a picture and know the exact address where that person is Right. That’s dangerous. You’ve got to change it. So, location services if you go to settings privacy, location services there it will tell you it will have each app there and you can turn it on or off for each app. Okay, so I have it off for Instagram. I have it on for Snapchat. I’ll tell you about that on the Snapchat show.
Yes, if it’s not listed there. If Instagram is not listed there, that means your kid has never put an address on, so that’s good thing it’s not turned on.
0:20:34 – Speaker 2
Okay, so that’s not a negative thing. That’s good to know.
0:20:37 – Speaker 3
That’s a good thing If Instagram is not listed there Now last year, Instagram added stories which are similar to Snapchat.
0:20:44 – Speaker 2
Kids can add to their stories, but the stories disappear, just like on Snapchat. 24 hours later it’s gone, unless you add it as a highlight.
0:20:52 – Speaker 3
Yes, and so the stories disappearing don’t bother me as much because that’s kind of like out there for all your friends to see and so if you’re following your kid on social media, you’re gonna see their story. So I mean, yes, it disappears and there’s lots of reasons why. You know it’s not just awful, it helps your storage. It’s really good to be able to share stuff and then not cloud up your phone a lot and if you have your accounts set to private right, Only your followers can see your story.
Exactly, but the problem that they also did was the direct messaging feature.
So, I wanna spend some time here. Let’s do that. The direct messaging feature is scary, and the reason I say that is because adults are the only one using the word sexting. Anymore Kids do not use that word. We sound so old when we say it. I actually hate the word. They don’t text sexy pictures anymore because they know you’re monitoring their text. They just don’t text really. They don’t because they want privacy and so they’re direct messaging within apps.
So before, on Instagram, you know, three years ago, when my daughter first got it, when I was logged into her account from my phone, I could see all of those. Now it has upgraded. The update is that the DMs, the direct messages, disappear, right, so Now you can always screenshot it. So say, a nude is shared within a DM, it can be replayed once, or you can just not have the replay option. So what? They can only see it once, but they can always screenshot it, yes, and then you’re notified when somebody screenshot something. So that is where, with this update, it kind of like puts a red flag. For me, it does change.
0:22:29 – Speaker 2
It does change some things and you know what, If you see that your kids have done something or you are noticing you’re getting these alerts, if you take your kids phone away, it doesn’t mean they’re not accessing their account and they’re not still communicating.
0:22:43 – Speaker 3
I’m so glad that you mentioned that. So they’re really good. They may not be accessing their account when they’re in your home, but they don’t have access to a phone, so you maybe managed to handle some consequences there. The minute they leave and they’re around other people’s phones, they’re going to grab that phone, they’re going to log in as themselves and then they’re going to start that DM and those disappears. Those things are going to disappear so that if you log in to check it, it’s gone already. Yeah, so you’ve missed it, and so that’s the red flag alert. Now with Instagram, that wasn’t there before.
0:23:13 – Speaker 2
Well, and another danger with Instagram is the search engine feature. You know the search history can be cleared and the direct direct messages can be deleted. So again, you don’t really know what’s going on, even if you are following your child.
0:23:26 – Speaker 3
Yes, it is true.
0:23:30 – Speaker 2
Well, it’s a big sigh moment because we had a little bit more ability to follow them Easier, and now things are just gone.
0:23:36 – Speaker 3
Well, the other thing is, if you have restrictions set on your phone, it’s not going to catch anything within that search history because it’s within the app. So, for instance, when my daughter saw pornography on Instagram, her restrictions were set. That shouldn’t have been able to come through on like a safari search, but because it was within an app it came through and so the search engine. You got to trust your kid because you can go in and look at it but it can also be deleted. So again, it’s got to be a trust thing it does.
0:24:02 – Speaker 2
You know a couple of things that we need you to know, just to keep in mind. Number one follow your child. There’s limitations with this, because you can’t see any DMs, like we’re saying they can delete their search history. Things have changed and will continue to change, but this is the best thing you can do at this time with Instagram is follow them and stay on top of it.
0:24:20 – Speaker 3
Yeah, do random phone checks too. You know my philosophy is I pay for the phone, your phone is not a diary. Nothing is ever private. Anything can be screen shot, so I have access all the time. I always tell my child do not take a picture, a video, post, comment anything that you do not want me or your principal or a future employer or a future college admission person to see, because anything can be screen shot.
0:24:44 – Speaker 2
Anything that you send out that could be part, become part of your digital footprint and they need to know that I mean your life, can be literally ranked Well, and they also need to know that that’s not random, that that is becoming the standard for hiring people, for accepting you into a university. That is a part of the process now of the application.
0:25:02 – Speaker 3
One thing I also want to mention be logged into your kids account on your phone with the updates. Even though there were some updates that I don’t like, this is an update that I like. At the very top of the screen, you can click your name, your profile name, and you can add accounts so you can switch between accounts very easily now, so you can be logged into your account and your child’s account or how many other accounts that they have. That is a very good tip.
0:25:23 – Speaker 2
So, with Instagram, learn it before giving it to your kids. Set clear guidelines. Set the account to private, please, and monitor, teach and model how to use it.
0:25:33 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630, the Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page