Why Instagram Has Become the Go-To Cyberbullying Platform for Teens?
What would be life like for teens without technology? Can you imagine your teens without smartphones and social media? To be honest, technology has become a way of life for most teens these days. With the help of the internet and smartphones, they can keep in touch with their friends, get help for school assignments and seek a whole lot of entertainment.
One of the ways for teens to keep in touch with friends and let others know what is happening in their lives is through popular social media app, Instagram. This photo-sharing cum social media app is largely popular among both adults and teens alike.
Along with photos, teens can also share short videos on Instagram. Undoubtedly, this social media app is a fun thing for teens, but just like any other social media platform, it can be used for spreading cyberbullying and trolling others for no reason. Several studies have reported that the majority of cyberbullying incidents take place on Instagram. In fact, kids and teens are subject to Instagram cyberbullying.
Instagram Cyberbullying on the Rise
Cyberbullying has become rampant in the last few years. Ever since kids and teens started using social media apps, they have been subject to online bullying and trolling. It’s a lot easier for a random bully to reach out to some teen on a social media app and bombard them with mean comments, threatening messages, or phone calls.
According to a study, for those who have experienced cyberbullying, 42 percent reported being bullied on Instagram, 37 percent reported being bullied on Facebook whereas 31 percent have been bullied on Snapchat.
As a result, it has become increasingly important that parents know how their kids are using Instagram, who is trying to get in touch with their kids, and whether or not they are experiencing cyberbullying on Instagram. Other than that, they should also know if their kids are using the platform to bully others.
Let us understand why Instagram has become the go-to cyberbullying platform for teens or why teens are using this platform to humiliate, harass, and intimidate others?
Uploading Embarrassing Photos/Videos
Teens, especially bullies, look out for material posted by other teens on Instagram that can be used against them for blackmail. After gathering such material, they post those photos and videos on the platform.
Teens also use the “slap game” to embarrass victims on the app. In this game, one person slaps someone while another person records the victim’s reaction in the form of a video. This video is then uploaded on Instagram to humiliate and embarrass the victim.
Posting Mean Comments Under a Photo/Video
Suppose a teen has posted a photo of themselves wearing a new outfit on Instagram. The bullies will take this opportunity to leave rude comments under that post such as “you look so ugly” or “you look so fat; lose some weight.”
Teen bullies do not miss the opportunity of leaving mean, hurtful, and rude comments under another teen’s photo or video. Incidents like these spread cyberbullying on the platform and encourage others to do the same. The mean comments will hurt the victim, making them suffer from anxiety and depression.
Creating a Fake Account on Instagram
A bully can exploit your kid on Instagram by creating a fake account there. They can create a fake account of your kid and through that account, they can upload embarrassing and mean photos or videos of your kid over there. Other than that, they can also leave rude and mean comments under someone else’s posts.
Now, others will think that these rude comments are being passed on by your kid as they are coming from their account. They will assume your kid is the one involved in the bullying behavior. This can ruin your kid’s online reputation so much so that people will start disliking them.
Because of their ill reputation, your kid may not get admission to a good school or land a job in a reputable company especially until it is proved that their account is fake. Now you can realize how a single fake account of your kid can wreak havoc in their life.
Adding Mean Hashtags Under a Photo/Video
Bullies can also add mean hashtags under a victim’s photo or video on Instagram. They can add hashtags such as #fake, #ugly, or #loser under someone’s photo and ridicule them. The thing with hashtags is that when people search for these particular hashtags on the app, they will come across your kid’s photo/video where the same hashtag has been added. By adding mean hashtags to a victim’s photo, their photo can be exposed to a broader audience and cause humiliation to them.
Posting Screenshots of Private Text Messages
In most cases, your teen’s private messages are suddenly exposed to the public in the form of screenshots. For example, if your teen has shared something about their private lives with another person, a screenshot of that conversation can be taken and posted to Instagram either through posts or stories.
When such a thing happens, everyone on Instagram can read that private conversation of your teen and also come to know about the person they were talking to. This can expose your teen to a wider audience.
Instagram cyberbullying is on the rise. If you want to combat cyberbullying on this platform, you need to talk to your kids about potential internet dangers. This is one of the first steps to fight against cyberbullying.
You should educate your kids on how to use technology, especially social media apps safely and responsibly. On the other hand, you can also protect your kids from cyberbullying by frequently monitoring their online activity with the help of a reliable and professional phone spy app.
Spying on your kids does not mean that you need to keep an eye on their online activity behind their back. You can inform your kids about the monitoring app so they do not feel their online privacy is being violated.
With the Mobistealth monitoring app, you can keep a watch on your kid’s social media activity, especially Instagram activity, and protect them from harmful online dangers like cyberbullying. With proper education about the online dangers, along with frequent communication and monitoring their online activity with a monitoring app, you can protect your teens from Instagram cyberbullying.
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