A mental health association is helping parents have conversations with their kids, to help keep them safe on social media.
The “Parent’s Guide to Instagram” by the Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association (Miasa) aimed to provide parents with the tools to talk to their children on managing privacy, creating boundaries and managing time spent online.
“Over 800 million people use Instagram every month. From stories and memes, to photos and videos, people use it in many different ways. In order to use Instagram safely without worrying being followed by unfriendly people, the thing that we should be discussing is whether their account will be public or private,” it said, on an Instagram post.
The guide, available on Miasa’s site, spans 67 pages and also explains the mechanics of Instagram, like posting stories, blocking comments, privacy settings, plus a glossary of common terms.
They recommend teenagers set their account to personal instead of public, to limit the audience and allow them to express themselves independently while staying safe online.
Beyond explaining how Instagram works so parents can better communicate about it, the guide also provides lessons for parents to teach their kids on how to interact kindly with people online.
In a section called 'Support for other people', Miasa gives advice on how to reach out to friends that may seem sad or distressed, and who to contact to get them help.
This addresses those showing signs of suicidal or self-harming tendencies, and urges teenagers to contact the authorities so such account owners can get help.
The guide was done in partnership with Instagram.