Instagram and Young Girls- What Do We Allow?

Rachel Simmons, a guru on all things girl, wrote a Time article on Instagram and Tweens this week. I've talked about this topic so many times with moms on a personal level. This is a great opportunity to blog about it.

I posted this article and question on my Facebook pages, 5 Things and Girls 101, saying:  What do you all think? I'm in the minority I fully realize, but having social media accounts during middle school years add to the complication of a growing identity. But many have it I know. Do you mind sharing your thoughts? 

Here are the comments I received from moms, girls and teachers:

 Because of the drama involved with Instagram, my daughter voluntarily closed her account. She was tired of the selfies, of seeing what activity she wasn't invited to, and many other things related to all that. She hasn't regretted it once. She said, "I was becoming addicted to it."

My daughter is getting her first phone this week. She's already seen other girls obsessing over Instagram. At this point, she's not interested in getting it. Not sure how she'll feel about it in a month or a year, but for now, ix-nay on the Instagram for her.  "Instashame"??? Insta-no thanks.

My daughter is in 9th. I haven't let her have FB, but she has Instagram. In middle school it was all about how many likes/favs they get on a pic. "Ugh, she has 50 likes and my pic only got 48!" It's a status. There is even an app to get more likes..... My 5th grader has Instagram & I have to constantly tell her she has to keep her acct private. 
I strongly abhor raising girls with social media!

Teacher perspective: they start it at home, using social media. They bring it to school and cause a problem, disrupting their education.

I couldn't agree more. Many of my 4th graders have Instagram already.

Wow, I think this article is almost spot on...which is a little scary. I LOVE social media, but just decided to stop using Instagram earlier this week because of how intoxicating it can become to the way we perceive our social lives and even ourselves at times. This can be risking territory for young girls..and guys. Thanks for sharing.

As moms, we have to decide when is appropriate for our kids to have social media. At some point, it's fine. 

My girls and I have it, but I made them wait until the end of middle school to get it. Here's my thoughts:

1) don't give access until you are ready to monitor it (and that includes knowing how it works)

2) remember that middle school is a time where identities are very fragile so take that into account
3) social media is not a "right", it's a freedom that you can give permission for or say no to
4) you can say "not yet" instead of "no"

What are your thoughts?

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LOVE to hear from readers! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.