A desire to stay relevant: Instagram for kids | Arts

Social media is obsessive, time consuming, and a necessity for many. People of all ages are using social media, from 13-year-olds eager to finally join the Instagram cult to 70-year-olds who use Facebook just to keep in touch with old friends. These platforms do not specifically extend to children under 13 for legal reasons. Despite this, earlier this year Facebook announced the creation of a brand new platform called “Instagram Kids”.

Facebook argues that this move is an integral part of the next generation of teens, ages 10 to 12. times. As a result, “Instagram Kids” is meant to address the pressing issues of the Alpha Generation today, such as children’s desire to misrepresent themselves and their age on social media platforms. “Instagram Kids” will create a safe and legal environment in which these tweens can be authentic themselves.

In addition, another feature of “Instagram Kids” that the company says would improve society as a whole is the development of parental supervision tools. Facebook’s hope is that the control parents have over their kids on “Instagram Kids,” like restricting accounts and filtering abusive posts, will teach tweens how to navigate essential social media waters from the start. preparing them for more independent use of social media in the future.

While Instagram’s expansion will dramatically increase its two words, lawmakers, parents, consumer rights groups and child safety groups find “Instagram Kids” extremely problematic. These groups believe that instead of being useful and providing tweens with much-needed insight into social media life, this new platform will instead promote cyberbullying, body shame, and predatory grooming.

Policymakers, such as U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (DC.T.), have spoken out against Facebook’s ambitious goal, fearing it will make children more vulnerable to mental health issues. or anxiety are correlated. There have also been Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearings regarding Instagram’s issues for children, and attorneys general in 44 different states and territories have written a letter calling for the development of this app to end.

The intense opposition to such a platform was so strong that Facebook actually gave in to the majority opinion somewhat by suspending its work on this interpolation platform. Instagram manager Adam Mosseri made the announcement on September 27, 2021, simultaneously generating festive cheers and providing proof that the fight to end “Instagram Kids” has real momentum.

Following this announcement, US Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), US Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL 14th District), US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and US Representative Lori Trahan (D-MA 3rd District) joined together to publish a statement calling for the total dissolution of “Instagram for Kids”. “Time and time again, Facebook has demonstrated the failures of self-regulation, and we know Congress has to step in,” lawmakers said. These lawmakers even introduced the idea of ​​a Child Internet Design and Safety Act (KIDS) to protect the well-being of children and future generations of children.

Clearly, the idea that social media should be extended to tweens is against everyone except Facebook, and the downsides far outweigh the possible benefits. Even on Twitter, users who are clearly past the standard age of 13 have created memes to emphasize and expose the ridiculousness of “Instagram for Kids.” The mere fact that a 10-year-old waits an additional three years to use social media is by no means unreasonable, and it also gives him enough time to mature so he can make smart decisions while using social media. social media.

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