It’s hard for teens to imagine their lives without technology, especially social media platforms. They rely on the internet and social media as it is an important aspect of their lives. Besides staying in touch with their friends, they also share about themselves and their lives on social media apps.
One of the best and most popular social media apps that allow teens to keep in touch with their friends and to let others know about themselves is Instagram. This social media app is an online photo-sharing and social networking app that is massively popular among kids and teens these days.
Apart from uploading photos, Instagram also lets teens record and share 15-second videos. Recently, it has added a Reels option that lets users record, edit, and post funny videos similar to what they do on TikTok. While it’s a great app for teens to interact with others, it is also being extensively used to bully and troll others. Cyberbullying is the reason parents resort to installing the iPhone spy app or Android spy app to monitor their teens’ activities on Instagram.
Several sources have reported that the majority of cyberbullying teens experience takes place on Instagram. It has been reported that 42% of teens are bullies on Instagram whereas 37% of them are bullied on Facebook and 31% on Snapchat. This shows the majority of cyberbullying takes place on Instagram.
As a result, it has become increasingly important that parents take notice of how their kids are using Instagram. They should know how they are using the social media platform to intimidate, harass, and humiliate others. Below, we have discussed a few ways teens are using Instagram to bully others.
Posting Embarrassing Photos
Teens collect others embarrassing or private photos and videos on Instagram and then use the content against others to blackmail them. Another way they adopt to embarrass others is by playing the “slap game”. In this game, one person slapssomeone whereas another person records the victim’s reaction in a video. This video is then posted to Instagram to shame and embarrass the victim.
Writing Insulting Comments on Photos
Teens often post insulting comments on someone else’s photo on Instagram to humiliate and shame them. With such mean comments, they can hurt someone else and embarrass them in front of the public on Instagram. Sometimes, they can even tag someone on an embarrassing photo and write something insulting for them.
Adding a Mean Hashtag on Someone’s Photo
Sometimes teens go to the extent of adding mean and cruel hashtags under someone else’s photo. Mean hashtags such as #loser #whatnottowear and #ugly are a few examples that are most commonly used by teens on others’ photos on Instagram.
By using such hashtags, the victim’s photo can be exposed to a larger audience. This extreme exposure can cause the victim to feel like the entire world is laughing at them.
Creating a Fake Account on Instagram
Teens can exploit other kids by creating fake accounts on Instagram. Once they create a fake account using someone else’s name, they can upload shameful and embarrassing photos of them or post mean quotes or comments under others’ photos.
Everyone might think that the victim is using their account to embarrass others but, in reality, they are not. In fact, someone else is using their name to damage their reputation. People might think that the victim is behind the bullying behavior. This can damage the victim’s reputation to such an extent that nobody would like their kids to be friends with them. They might also not get admitted to a good college or land a good job unless it is proved that their account is fake and they are innocent.
Misusing Screenshots of Private Messages
Teens tend to have private conversations on Instagram. The problem arises when the teen bully takes screenshots of those private messages and then post them everywhere for people to see. There can be many situations where the victim confides in another teen and talks to them about their private problems. In return, the other teen takes the screenshot of that conversation and posts on their Instagram.
When the private conversation is exposed, everyone can see the victim’s thoughts. That way, the victim feels hurt and embarrassed as all of their private messages are leaked on the platform and everyone gets to know about their problems.
How to Prevent Cyberbullying on Instagram
Your teens are involved in bullying others on Instagram and you might not know about it. The best way to find out whether or not your teen is targeting someone on the social media platform is to monitor their activity on the app. Parents can use the best iPhone monitoring app or Android monitoring app, depending on the device your teen is using.
Another best way to prevent your teens from bullying others on Instagram is to talk to them about online dangers and how cyberbullying can damage their reputation as well as that of the victim’s. You should also teach your teens how to use the social media platform safely and responsibly.
With proper education about online dangers, along with frequent communication and some online monitoring, you can help prevent your kids from bullying others on Instagram and also prevent them from being bullied by others on the platform.