Since Instagram was launched five years ago, it has become the favorite place on the Internet to share pictures. The 400 million monthly active users upload every single day about 80 million pictures. Since 2010 the users shared more than 40 billion pictures. And it keeps growing. But who posts what and what should better not be shared online?
100 million Americans use Instagram, more than 200 million users live in Europe or Asia. People mostly post things they love like food, pets, favorite quotes, landscapes, friends and family or pictures of themselves. The word “selfie” is known by almost everyone these days. The most users on Instagram are younger than 34 years. But also older persons use the photo sharing app.
Instagram is not only full of selfies. It is also not only for photographers. It can be good for teenagers to learn how to take good pictures and get photo editing skills as well. Getting more likes and followers seems to be like a fun game for most teenagers, because the number of apps that help to get more of these is rising. But the pictures are what really matters. So it should be well considered what to upload because not everything should be shared with 400 million other users.
Every user can decide which photos to post. Family members and friends should be asked first if they are ok to be on a picture on Instagram. Pets might don’t care, but kids could. Many young parents are proud of their kids and post lots of baby photos. But what is cute for the parents, might be not so cute for the kids when they are grown up. A few years ago, before Instagram or any other social network was launched, people didn’t hang their pictures on the walls of their houses for everyone to see. Why share a private picture with even more people now? So, parents should think of how they’d feel if their parents posted baby pictures of them on social media. Some photos might be ok, but not all kinds of pictures.
A few years ago photos were only shared with family and friends, and it wasn’t that easy to copy them on their phones. These days it’s all different. Some people share their most private moments online and forget that the Internet does not forget anything. Even if a picture is deleted, someone else could have downloaded it before and uses it somewhere else, maybe without even the owner’s knowledge. Parents should keep in mind that there are people out there who might be looking for a naked kid in the bathtub or on the beach. And they see it not the way parents or friends do.
But there are more things to think of when posting a picture online. Bosses mostly check their employees on social media. Too many party pictures could be a reason to lose the job, or to not get hired. This is mostly important for teenagers or young adults who just finished school, party a lot and put it all on Instagram. Any person can be found online if she uses her real name on social media. Uploading a picture is not just for the moment, not just to get likes, but can also have consequences.
An alternative solution could be to send the picture directly to the people who are supposed to see them. The direct message allows users to send a photo privately to up to 15 people. So not all followers will see the shared picture. Another option is to set the account private. Followers need to be accepted before they can see the pictures. So there can be a private and a public Instagram account made by one person depending on what to be shared.
What do you post on Instagram? Would you post pictures of your kids?