The Plugged In show, Episode 78: Instagram for Kids? Experts Say, ‘No Way!’


For the most part, preteens aren’t officially encouraged to have their own social media profiles. Sure, we find a few exceptions here and there, and lots of kids circumvent the rules. But Facebook? YouTube? Instagram? Yeah, you technically have to be at least 13 to sign up. For now.

Earlier this spring, we learned that Facebook—which also owns the popular social network Instagram–was exploring the idea of creating an Instagram for younger kids.

The reaction was swift and largely negative. Experts weighed in, citing studies that show social media can have a huge negative impact on young users. (Instagram, with its focus on pictures, can be particularly problematic, especially when it comes to issues such as body image.) Just last week, attorneys general in 44 states and territories asked Facebook to drop its Instagram-for-kids plans. As CNBC quipped, “Protecting children from harm online appears to be one of the rare motivators both Democrats and Republicans can agree on.”

The Plugged In team took on this timely topic for this week’s podcast, discussing the influence social media has on especially its youngest users. But we go deeper, too, giving parents some practical advice on how they can safeguard their kids.

Take a listen—and check out everything we talk about on this podcast, too.

Gift of Any Amount Offer: Seven Traits of Effective Parenting by Dr. Daniel Huerta

Plugged In Episode: ‘The Plugged In Show Episode 46: Examining The Social Dilemma and our Interaction With Social Media’
Plugged In Review: The Social Network
Plugged In Blog: “Netflix’s ‘The Social Dilemma’ Paints a Sober Portrait of Tech’s Influence”
Plugged In Blog: “Entertainment, Media and Mental Health: The Influence of Social Media”
Plugged In Blog: “The Real Reason I Dislike Social Media”
Plugged In Blog: “We’re Always Connected, Thanks to Social Media. Why Do We Feel So Alone?”
Plugged In Blog: “Why Lizzo and Other Celebs Left Social Media For Good”
Plugged In Blog: “There’s No Nicotine in Social Media. So Why Are You Puffing So Hard?”
Plugged In Blog: “Culture Clips: Social Media Can Cause Depression, But One Outlet Wants to Combati It, Too”
Plugged In Blog: “Culture Clips: What Do Teens Talk About on Social Media?”

Focus on the Family: Setting Media Standards
Focus on the Family: Making Wise Entertainment Choices
Plugged In: Tech Guide
Focus on the Family: How to Develop Media Intelligence in Your Home

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.