It hit hard to Jamie, a mother of a teenager that her daughter, Brianna has been sharing her email address and contact details on Instagram by making a business profile. Jamie said that it was quite clear that she was allowed to use Instagram to be in contact and enjoy with her friends and close people, and that’s it. There were simpler and strict rules about the use of social media by her. She had no idea that her daughter had converted her account into a business account to get more reach.
In her defense, Brianna said that many kids are doing it and the best part is that having a business account gives them more privilege. Through this account, they can get metrics like how many people have visited their profiles or seen their posts. She said it makes the whole experience interesting. Her mother, on the other hand, totally disagreed and reversed the setting immediately.
Though Instagram and all other social media platforms have made it their policy that kids under 13 cannot join the platform, but it can be seen that this rule is not being followed. There are plenty of underage kids who are using Instagram and exposing their personal information. While they are busy doing this, their parents have no idea what their kids are up to. Especially this business profile idea is making it more attractive for the kids who want to get digital scores and be popular on social media.
Instagram Business Profiles
The feature of ‘business profile’ was added to Instagram in 2016 and it aimed to provide them the perfect reach to attract the target audience. People registered on business accounts can share their email addresses, phone numbers, website, and other information on Instagram. They even get the metrics about the activities on their accounts. This is the reason many teens started shifting their accounts to business accounts for these perks.
While there are some kids with business accounts that are child actors, inspirations, content creators, influencers, etc. But many teen accounts have shifted to business accounts for no reason. Instagram doesn’t care if the kids are making business accounts. They are not doing any research for this.
It was seen that Instagram doesn’t even know the age of the user using these accounts. They can’t tell who is below or above 18 because they don’t ask for your age at the time of sign up. All you need is to tick on the block that says ‘above 13’ and that’s it. But there is a lot of content that needs to be monitored and not suitable for kids under 18. Instagram doesn’t help with that.
Are Our Teens Safe?
First of all, a teen should never be allowed to run a business account without their parents’ consent and if they are doing so, there should be some policies related to it. People have observed that their kids have been receiving unusual and wrong sort of messages on Instagram after opening a business account.
Some teens especially girls have been subjected to unwanted and inappropriate messages through the messaging tool of Instagram. They haven’t even added those strangers to their contact list and still, they are receiving such sort of texts. Parents have reported that their daughters have even received ‘disgusting comments’ and ‘marriage proposals’. A mother of a 13-year-old showed disgust over the fact that grown men are targeting young teen girls on social media platforms. Predating has taken another level and our kids are not safe.
Our kids might be using social media platforms for fun, and some are doing great work too but are they safe? Though we have given them the independence to enjoy and have fun on social media platforms, what if we are wrong to give them a lot of freedom? This is the time that parents need to recognize the wrong things happening on social media and know what their kids are up to. At the same time, these social media platforms need to be stricter with their policies and make sure that they are checking up on every user.
Role of Parents
Being a parent, you might be surprised like anyone else if you get to know that your kid is running a business account on Instagram or if your underage kid is using social media without your consent. These are surprising facts but what can a parent do if things come to this? There is much less that parents can do at a point where kids have already found their life on social media and they are not ready to leave it. However, there are still a few things that you can practice and see what works on your kids the best:
- Be a part of their life. Use the social media platforms and be with them as they enjoy the journey. If they know that you are on the same level as them, they will surely share with you when things like this happen or when they decide to turn their account into a business account. This is what you need right now; for them to be open with you.
- Though trusting them is a must when it comes to giving them freedom, but what if it costs you much? You are a parent and you should keep an eye on your kids and their social media activities. Even if they lie to you, you will know when they are lying if you are monitoring them. If monitoring is new for you, you need to try Mobistealth, the best monitoring and tracking app. Not only it lets you know their activities, but it also notifies you when your kid needs assistance and when they are doing something wrong.
- Communicate with them on the regular basis. Have dinner together and make sure you talk to them about everything you can think of. The more you talk to them, the more you make them feel comfortable around you. Communication is the key to a successful relationship. These tips on parenting can help you.
Though these social media platforms are proving to be very dangerous for our kids, we can’t take it away from them. What we can do is to guide them, talk to them, be with them, monitor them with social media monitoring apps, and have them the fun they are having.
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