What is Instagram Doing to Our Kids?
The "Look At Me" Generation
I have three children ages 17, 16, and 12. All three of them have Instagram accounts. They all follow and are followed by hundreds of people. They post pictures, comment on pictures, etc. They seem to be constantly scrolling through the hundreds of photos shared by others.
I have the usernames and passwords for all three instagram accounts. My kids know that I periodically look at their accounts. I see their pictures and the pictures of their "friends". Lately, I have been shocked at some of the pictures these other kids are posting.
You're So Perf!
A common theme for girls seems to be the "I'm sexy, but I'm not really trying to be sexy" photo. I realize that this has been a common theme in photos of females for decades, but I'm talking about young teenage girls and even tweens. The comments on these photos range from, "You sexy thang!" to "Booty!" to "You are so perf!" to some things unfit to print here. The photographed girl usually responds with a sheepish "Aw thanks!" or "No, you're the pretty one!"
It's obvious to anyone with half a brain that these girls KNOW the photos border on sexy, and they're trying to downplay it. ("Oops! I didn't realize I was holding my camera downward and my cleavage was showing!")
Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places
The superficial and oftentimes inappropriate attention these kids are getting on instagram is cause for concern. I worry most about the girls. Why are they needing this affirmation from other people? Are they missing something in their relationships at home? Or - are they just THAT superficial and self-absorbed? Either answer is worrisome.
What Does the Future Hold?
So, what is this doing to young people's psyches? How are they going to function as adults, when they are used to this constant praise and attention?
I fear instagram and apps like it are creating a world full of self-absorption. What are these young people going to be like in the real world? How will this constant need for attention affect their relationships/jobs? The thought is more than a little scary.
This "look at me" generation is going to rule the world one day. Yikes!