ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Growing up comes with a lot of obstacles. Kids can soon add another social media app to that list.
Instagram wasn’t originally created with kids in mind, but now the company is working on a platform for children. We spoke with a few parents who aren’t too thrilled with the idea.
Over one billion adults use Instagram with no children allowed–but that may change.
Local parents say they aren’t so sure they want their little ones to have their own account.
“I’m not worried that a 9-year-old is going to get on there with bad intentions. I’m worried a 29, or 39, or 49-year-old is going to get on there. It’s so hard to check,” said Matt Verderame.
The creator of Facebook also owns Instagram The company is discussing launching a new social media platform exclusively for kids 13 and under. As a father, Matt Verderame is concerned about his young daughter and who else could be on the app.
“I wouldn’t want my daughter on there and just thinking, ‘yeah. Well, I’m sure everybody is 10 years old.’ the reality is, not everybody is going to be 10 years old. If humanity can create it, humanity can hack it. I would worry about any child being on there and knowing that there are people who going to have bad intentions who are going to use that to their own benefit.” Verderame said.
Counselor Kevin Polky has seen the negative effects of social media on children’s mental health. He believes it’s only a matter of time before the app launches and encourages parents to remain focused on what they can control.
“Instead of feeling like this is another thing that I can’t control, how do we reframe it into an opportunity to foster the continued relationship with our children and I think the best way we can do that is encouraging and coaching that transparency,” said Polky, the executive director for KP Counseling.
Miranda Webb doesn’t plan on letting either of her daughters on any new social media platform
Before she knows the ins and outs.
“It scares me. They already don’t understand enough and it makes me worry because there are just so many unknowns,” she added.