Wake up parents, you have been had.
Your child has two Instagram accounts. One is rated G/PG, and the other is not.
What should you do? Have you downloaded the Finsta App?
This is no longer the latest craze among teenagers in middle school and high school. Kids have a “cover” Instagram account that is all happy go lucky for their parents to follow, and another account for their school friends and other peers. With some nasty stuff. It’s no longer just Snap Chat that you have to worry about.
And we do not know what they are posting. Are they taking pictures that we do not want them to take? Using language that we do not want them to use? And just doing kid things, that kids will do? Those rascally things that kids used to do where not too harmful in the olden days when I was growing up, but today they could get you labeled as a sex offender for life (not that we did things that awful in the olden days!). And when you are 14 you are not thinking about consequences. So we parents have to.
The kids refer to these accounts as their “FINSTA” account. That stands for Fake Instagram. See how little you knew? Did you look for the Finsta App? There is none. Finsta means second Instagram account, or Fake Instagram account. And it is practically required for teenagers today. Chances are your child has one, or his friends do, and that’s where the nasty stuff gets posted. And we parents had no idea.
HOW DO WE CATCH THIS DECEPTIVENESS?
My son does not own a phone. I own a second phone that he is allowed to use. I own it. I pay over $50 a month for his phone. I mean MY PHONE. We forget that these are the parents devices. So I can check it at will. Or he loses it. But if it is a secret Instagram account, it will be very hard to find.
We parents have to work together, we have to be a village, raising and protecting our children as a group. Hopefully one parent will find some information that we can all use to protect our kids from themselves! I check my son’s account regularly, and then I am able to see the accounts he follows. Everyone of his friends has two Instagram accounts. And some of these are quite inappropriate.
Lastly, do not ask them if they have a secret account. You may have the best relationship in the world with your child, but do not tip your hand and lose the opportunity to see if they are hiding something. Even the best of our children sometimes like to be sneaky, social media is a way for them to act out on-line where they think it is safer than in real life. Also, they can send messages from Instagram, and from Finstagram. See, I caught you again, there is no such thing as Finstagram, parents, stop being so gullible!
We will never be smarter than them, but we have to keep trying!