The youth version of the Addressing the pressure to be perfect toolkit has a quiz relating to each of these skills. You may want to take the quizzes together and use the outcomes as the basis for discussion about how they use Instagram. Having an open conversation about these topics can allow you to check-in with your teen about their online decision-making and their emotions surrounding Instagram, and to work together to establish positive use.
It’s important for young people (and anyone!) to know where and when to share sensitive topics or feelings. Sharing too much information about your life or feelings can have negative consequences, especially for young people who do not have a lot of experience in knowing what is and isn’t safe to share online.
It can be helpful for them to hear you talk about using social media by sharing your perspectives on what kinds of feelings and information are appropriate to share where, and to be reminded that anything posted in public is potentially out there forever. This conversation could be an opportunity to note that decisions have consequences, and that we make better decisions when we’ve stepped back to think first.
While social comparison is something that happens both on and offline, young people compare themselves to others more than almost any other age group, often with negative consequences. How their posts are received, for example, can significantly affect their mood. It is helpful to be aware of this sensitivity and to pay attention to whether online comparisons are affecting overall well-being.
If you notice a great deal of emphasis on being liked online, check-in. You might want to debunk what perfection is by noting that no image tells the whole story. You can also have a conversation about all the work that goes into what looks like a “perfect” life online and about the positive things that exist in the other parts of their life.
Instagram is a kind and supportive community, and people often open up about difficult subjects in order to create awareness or find support. For the most part, these conversations are positive and lead to connections and positive support. However, at times, a community member may be in real distress.
Instagram have created a tool in the app so that anyone can anonymously report concerning behaviour, including cyberbullying—you may want to share it with your teen so that they are aware, and use that opportunity to talk about what to do when someone seems to be struggling with emotional balance. There is more detailed information about this in the Support section of the toolkit.
Give your child a guiding hand as they start their digital journey online with practical tips.
Conversation starter tips
Help children deal with online issues and open up about their digital lives with these 4 simple tips.
See more advice and resources to help your child stay safe online.