Category: Social Media Safety

10 Important Things to Consider Before Sharing Pictures of Your Child on Social Media

Things to Consider Before Sharing Pictures of Your Child on Social Media

In the era of social media, where sharing is just a click away, it’s vital to pause and reflect, especially when it involves pictures of your children. Yes, those adorable baby smiles or innocent fun moments are tempting to share, but have you considered the implications?

This guide will walk you through essential considerations before posting your little one’s pictures on social media. Let’s delve into multiple aspects that will help you make informed decisions.

10 Things to Consider Before Sharing Pictures of Your Child

Your children are their own people, and they deserve to have a say over whether or not pictures of themselves can be posted on social media. After all, everything on the internet is permanent.

1. Sharing Could Have Long-Term Effects on Your Children

Think carefully about potential future repercussions before sharing your child’s images online. You never know how shared content might evolve in decades to come. In the digital era, these pictures will remain online indefinitely, potentially impacting their personal and professional life.

2. Blur the Background to Hide Other People’s Kids

A lot of parents may not know this, but it’s actually legal to share pictures of other people’s children online without their parents or child’s consent. To be safe, you should use background blurring techniques to ensure that only your own children are visible in your photograph.

3. Never Share Anything That Could be Considered Embarrassing

Keep in mind that what might appear cute to you now could be embarrassing for your child in the future. Simple images like bath time or tantrum moments can cause unease years later. By being considerate and cautious, you can help protect your child’s online persona.

4. Consider How Sharing Photos Could Warp Their View of Online Safety

Regularly sharing photos of your child online could impact their understanding of privacy and online safety. It may indicate to them that it’s normal to disclose personal information. Teach them prudent sharing habits by setting a good example with your own social media behavior.

5. Don’t Share any Personal Information or Suggestive Photos

Avoid sharing any pictures that disclose personal information or feature your child unclothed, even if partially. Besides infringing on their privacy, such images can easily fall into the wrong hands or be used maliciously. The internet is a useful tool, but it’s crucial to tread cautiously for your child’s safety.

6. Avoid Revealing Locations and Typical Routines

Avoid Revealing Locations and Typical Routines
Photo by Piron Guillaume

Be cautious when it comes to revealing locations and habitual routines in pictures. Geotagged photos or posts detailing your child’s school or park can serve as a roadmap to their daily life. Minimize risk by keeping such details offline, thereby strengthening your family’s safety.

7. Children May Not Know How to or Can’t Properly Give Consent

Unless you appropriately teach your children how permanent the internet is, it’s difficult or impossible for children to give consent. This is especially true if they’re young. And if you post photos of your child online without their consent, it could cause them to develop trust issues.

8. Beware of the Potential Backlash from Other Parents

There are plenty of parents who don’t like the idea of other people sharing their own children online, primarily for the reasons stated in this article. If you’re going to post pictures of your kids on social media, just be prepared for a potential backlash from other parents or groups.

9. Up Your Privacy Settings on Social Media

Leverage privacy settings offered by social media platforms to control who sees your posts. By reviewing and adjusting these settings, you can limit content visibility to trusted, selected individuals. This isn’t foolproof, but it creates an additional layer of safety for your images.

10. Consider Using More Private Social Networks

Instead of widely used platforms, consider sharing your child’s milestones on smaller, more private networks. There are family-friendly apps that prioritize privacy and offer better control over who sees the content. Selecting the right platform is a crucial step toward safer sharing.

In Conclusion…

The joy of sharing your child’s precious moments online comes with its own set of responsibilities. It’s essential to navigate this digital landscape cautiously for your little one’s safety. Remember, you are the first line of defense in protecting their digital footprint.

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Can Social Media Impact Children’s Brain Development?

Can Social Media Impact Children's Brain Development?

Social media has become an integral part of our lives and it’s no surprise that children are exposed, too. Major platforms like Facebook and Instagram capture children’s attention, inundating them with content and overstimulating sights and sounds. With that, it shapes their social interaction and daily routine.

The Impact of Toxic Stress on Brain Development

Stress is a natural response to challenging situations. When experienced chronically, it can harm children’s brain development. The developing brain is susceptible to stress and prolonged exposure to various stressors can disrupt normal functioning and growth.

Chronic stress negatively affects cognitive abilities and emotional well-being in children. Toxic stress has a lasting impact on brain development and function. The possible changes to a child’s brain might lead to anxiety, addiction and depression.

Another study published in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders found that early life stress can lead to changes in the structure of the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus. These changes also make someone engage in risky behaviors and addiction.

The Connection Between Social Media And Children’s Brain Development

Social media exposes children to vast amounts of information, social interactions and stimuli that can shape their cognitive and emotional development. Excessive screen time and social media usage can negatively impact children’s mental and emotional development.

The constant exposure to screens and digital work may contribute to attention difficulties, reduced focus and impaired cognitive abilities. Moreover, social media’s curated and filtered nature can distort children’s perception of reality and affect their self-esteem and emotional well-being.

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found a significant association between increased screen time and lower scores on developmental screen tests in toddlers. The results have indicated that children aged 24 to 36 months with higher screen time levels exhibited lower performance on a screening measure that evaluates their achievement of developmental milestones at 36 and 60 months.

Emotional and Social Effects of Social Media on Children

Social media can significantly influence children’s self-esteem, body image and social interactions. The constant exposure to carefully curated posts and images on social media platforms can create unrealistic standards of beauty and success, leading to negative self-comparison and diminished self-esteem. Moreover, the pressure to fit in and gain social validation online can affect the children’s sense of identity and belonging.

There are potential risks of social media. The dangers include addiction, cyber, exposure to harmful content, privacy concerns, mental health problems, sleep problems, eating disorders, reduced academic performance and reduced social interaction.

Cyberbullying and online peer pressure are prevalent. Social media allows people to be anonymous, which can encourage hurtful behaviors that lead to cyberbullying. The fear of missing out and the desire to conform to social norms online also contribute to peer pressure, where children may feel compelled to engage in behaviors they may not be comfortable with in order to fit in.

Many U.S. teens have experienced cyberbullying or witnessed others being bullied online. Common forms include mean or threatening messages, spreading rumors and being excluded from online groups. These findings emphasize the need to address social media’s emotional and social consequences.

Strategies for Promoting Healthy Social Media Use

Check out these steps for encouraging healthier and better social media usage among children:

  • Set limits: Establish clear boundaries regarding how much time children can spend on social media. Be more proactive in determining which sites are good for them and which aren’t.
  • Take breaks: Teach your children to be self-aware about their emotions. If they’re already feeling anxious or frustrated, it’s better to take a step away from using the gadget and walk around for a bit. Spending time in nature is shown to help relieve stress, so be sure to encourage outdoor activity.
  • Be a role model: Make sure you show your kids healthy social media habits by being intentional about how you use them. Maybe that means not ranting on social media or not comparing yourself with what you see. It also means spending just the right amount of time.

Social Media Is Already Here

Social media offers numerous benefits, but it can also be harmful — especially if children are left unguided. Chronic stress, exacerbated by excessive social media use, can lead to cognitive difficulties and emotional challenges. It’s essential to have good strategies in place and find the perfect balance in using these tools.

Cora Gold - Editor in ChiefAuthor bio:  Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She strives to live a happy and healthy life with her family by her side.
Follow Cora on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Instagram Sensitive Content and Family Center – What Parents Should Know

What Parents Should Know About Instagram Sensitive Content and Family Center

You have less to worry about regarding your kids’ safety on Instagram! The platform has launched some features that let parents have control over their children’s Instagram activities. In this article, we’re going to introduce Instagram Sensitive Content and Family Center to help you keep an eye on your children when using Instagram.

Threats of Instagram for Children

Instagram has become one of the most popular social media accounts, especially among youngsters. Around 10 percent of Instagram users are less than 17 years old. Despite all the interesting features of the platform, it might be dangerous for kids and teenagers.

Let’s list the threats that may harm your children on Instagram:


Although Instagram has no tolerance for bullies, there are still accounts that do cyber bullying. Kids are the most vulnerable group when it comes to cyber bullies.

Hate speech

Many accounts spread hate toward religions or races and you need to prevent your children from following these accounts.

Personal information release

Sometimes kids don’t know that they’re releasing personal information during their Instagram activities.

Sexual seduction

Unfortunately, many accounts on Instagram try to seduce your kids to have a relationship with them. Remember that there are many complaints about Instagram influencers in this regard.

Inappropriate content

Instagram’s limit on pornographic content is not enough and there is still lots of inappropriate content for kids and teens.

Instagram Sensitive Content Control

Instagram’s terms of policy don’t allow any content that might be harmful to people. For example, hate speech, cyberbullying, or similar content are categorized as sensitive content on Instagram. Also, Instagram has launched another feature, called Sensitive Content Control, that allows you to put more filters on Instagram content.

This is great news for parents because many Instagram posts and stories are not banned by Instagram, but they’re inappropriate for kids.

So you can easily let your kids know that they’re allowed to use Instagram as long as you limit content that is upsetting or offensive.

Here is how you can use Instagram Sensitive Content Control:

  • Open the Instagram app on your kid’s phone.
  • Go to his/her profile.
  • Tap the three-line icon (a.k.a hamburger.) You can see it at the top right.
  • Choose Settings and Privacy.
  • Under “What you see,” choose “Sensitive content.”
  • Choose a suitable option from the three options available;
  1. More
  2. Standard
  3. Less

The last option is suitable for kids because it puts the most restricted filter on the content they can see on Instagram.

Settings for Instagram Sensitive Content and Family Center

Instagram Family Center: Parental Supervision

Although the Sensitive content feature on Instagram is helpful, it won’t ensure your kid’s safety. Fortunately, there is another feature on the platform that lets you have more control over your kid.

Instagram Family Center provides supervision features to allow you to have an extra pair of eyes on your children’s IG activities.

It lets you track the time they use Instagram and reduce their screen time. Also, you can be notified of their following and prevent them from following suspicious accounts.

To do that, follow the guide below:

  1. Open your own Instagram account
  2. Go to your profile
  3. Tap the hamburger icon
  4. Choose Settings and privacy
  5. Scroll down and choose Supervision under “For families”

Family Center appears. Now, you have to invite your kid:

  1. Tap “Invite your teen
  2. Choose one of the options: “Find your teen on Instagram” or “Send your teen a link”
  3. Now, your kid has to accept the invitation.

When he accepts the invitation, you’ll gain access to his/her account.

Other Instagram Safety Tips for Parents

Here are some extra tips for parents to make sure about their kids’ safety on Instagram:

Screen time limit

Try to define a daily time limit so that they avoid spending too much time on the platform. Remember that social media can cause damage to their health and also their educational performance.

Check their followers

You need to know who they’re following or who has followed them. This way, you can spot suspicious accounts and take suitable measures.

Check their account’s Settings

You need to check their accounts so that they don’t change sensitive content or other settings.

Teach them how to set a powerful password

You need to know that Instagram accounts can easily be hacked. So you have to teach your kids to set strong passwords to save their Instagram profiles from hackers.

Keep their accounts Private

As you know, all users can see the content of public accounts. So you have to switch your kid’s account into a private one to avoid releasing personal information.

Install third-party parental control apps if needed

If you think that your teen doesn’t care about your warnings, you can install a third-party parental control app to control their Instagram activities. Using these apps, you can keep track of all their activities and even record their IG calls. Some of these apps let you remotely block the app on their cell phones. Tracking suspicious keywords on their account is also a great service these apps offer.

Final Words

Many children ask their parents to let them have an account on Instagram. Unfortunately, some of them watch inappropriate pictures and videos on Instagram or use the platform for sexting. So the wisest course of action is to have parental control over their activities on Instagram. They need to accept your supervision invitation so that you can see their activities. If you see that your teen resists, you can use hidden tools to monitor their activities without them knowing.

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The Dangerous Connections Between Social Media and Eating Disorders

The Dangerous Connections Between Social Media and Eating Disorders

Social media has a powerful influence on how kids and teens view themselves and the world. Many children fall into the trap of comparing themselves to the influencers they see online. For some, that comparison can make them self conscious about their body and diet, often causing or aggravating disordered eating habits.

As a parent, you should be aware of these risks. Here are the dangerous connections between social media and eating disorders.

What are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that cause severe disturbances in eating behaviors. The consequences can cause issues in your emotional and physical health. Eating disorders typically accompany negative body image or distorted perception of weight and shape.

Anyone can be affected by eating disorders — one study found that about 52% of girls and 45% of boys skip meals and engage in behaviors associated with eating disorders. Meanwhile, about 75% of girls and 70% of boys had at least one social media.

Social media can contribute to the development of eating disorders in several ways. Children and teens are of particular concern since the world around them heavily influences their development and choices.

The Influence of Social Media

Apps like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat have made it easier for people to compare themselves to others, often leading to a negative self-image. When your kids are constantly exposed to images of people that appear to have perfect bodies, it can harm how they feel about themselves. The photos they see are likely edited and filtered to create the look they put out there, setting unrealistic standards.

These altered images of reality can cause children to compare themselves and feel pressured to conform. Things get even worse when content creators promote unhealthy habits or lie about how they got the body they did.

Creators can promote unhealthy diets like fasting or drinks that encourage weight loss. These ads are dangerous to children vulnerable to developing eating disorders. Algorithms will note the content your kids engage with and give them more pictures and videos of the same style, creating more damage.

What You Can Do

Taking action to protect your children’s mental health and prevent them from being bombarded with harmful content is important. As a parent, you play a crucial role in helping your children navigate the world. You can teach your children tips on staying away from harmful trends and being aware of how social media influences them.

These are some ways to take action:

Explain the importance of food

A diet full of whole foods is the best way to have a healthy body. Eating foods that nourish you help your skin and overall body stay as healthy as possible. Tell them how food fuels your body and remind them of the amazing things it does daily. You can make sure they have healthy options at home, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.

Be a role model

Your kids learn by example so it is important to model healthy behaviors you want them to have. Avoid negative self-talk about your own or others’ bodies. Kids will internalize the way you talk about weight, food and body image, so be cautious about what you say around them.

Set social media boundaries

Limit their amount of social media use per day. It can reduce how much they’re exposed to harmful trends and messages. Encourage your kids to unfollow pages that make them feel bad about themselves or promote false claims about their bodies. Also, suggest doing other things such as getting outside or doing other hobbies.

Talk openly

Allow your children to feel safe when talking about what they see on social media. Be non-judgemental and validate their feelings and concerns. Sometimes you might need to give them a reality check by reminding them what they see online isn’t always true.

Emphasize self-care

Remind your children to take care of themselves in all aspects. In addition to their physical well-being, it also includes being mindful of their mental and emotional state. Teach them self-care habits like journaling and taking time to relax. As an adult, you might not realize how much stress kids and teenagers are under these days.

The Bottom Line

Social media can greatly affect your children’s body image and play a role in developing eating disorders. Work together with your children to learn how to have a healthy relationship with their bodies and prevent social media from influencing them.

Cora Gold - Editor in ChiefAuthor bio:  Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She strives to live a happy and healthy life with her family by her side.
Follow Cora on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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