Instagram is a social media application that allows you to instantly share photos onto your feed. Just like Facebook, you have friends – although on IG they are called “followers”. You can add filters to make your photos look pretty, you can add hashtags to increase search capabilities. You can comment on the photos of people you follow. You can decide to keep your account private, or just have it open to the whole world.
I love photos and so it goes without saying that I love Instagram. My feed is filled with photos of flowers, food, craft and beautiful spaces. I don’t use it to keep up with family and friends. I use it to keep the creative juices flowing and keep up to date with what other bloggers are up to.
With any social media application there are a few things you need to be aware of.
1. Not everyone will have the same morals as you. You will come across photos that you just don’t think are ok. There will be blasphemy. There will be swearing. These things are immediate deal breakers for me and I will unfollow any account that contains any of the afore-mentioned things. I always have the thought in the back of my head “If one of my children were to go onto my account, would I be happy with what they see and read?”
2. Spam. Spam is rife on IG. These are the accounts that follow your feed, along with three thousand other profiles and don’t have any followers and usually only one photo. Block them from your account, and report their account as spam.
3. It’s just like high school sometimes. Even though most people won’t like to admit it, IG can just be like high school. What you choose to like, what you choose to say is just as powerful as what you choose NOT to like, or choose not to say.
4. It’s not a place for children. Would you let your children on Facebook? Well, then why would you let them on IG? Quite clearly in the community guidelines IG states that you must be over the age of 13 to use the application. And there are very good reasons why. In our house the community guidelines is where we first went to when our teenager asked for an account. We read it together and created more boundaries: only to use it for half an hour a week, only mum knows the login password and not allowed to follow anyone – her account is primarily just to show what she is creating. A child may ‘like’ to look at photos of friends or family, but there needs to be boundaries. One slip of the finger and they might find themselves on the ‘popular’ page, which just between me and you – is a place where Satan is having a field day.
5. It’s addictive. Just like most social media you can easily get sucked into ‘just checking your account’ or ‘lets just see what someone wrote on my photo’. Set a time to use IG. Stick to it. Something I need to work on!
There are many other apps that can make your IG experience a whole lot more fun.
Use Flipagram to merge your photos together with music!
Statigram is a desktop version of Instagram. Here you can see all your photos, comment and like just as you would on your phone or ipad as well as see all the statistics relating to your account. Who you interact with most… who has unfollowed you and the list goes on!
As with any social media app, you need to use it wisely.
Do you have an IG account? If so, what do you see as positives or negatives when using it?