More on Instragram: creepy followers

I joined Instragram a month ago in order to keep a closer eye on the kids while they play on various apps. You can read the post here. This is a follow up post on my experience so far.

* * *

There are weird men following me on Instagram.

There’s some normal ones too, but this post isn’t about them. The normal ones are welcome and I follow them back. Like one of my kids’ hockey coaches, or my friend in the UK, among others. 😉

Anyway, about the weirdos…

The whole point why I joined IG is exactly for this reason:

I want to see what activity happens on the social media my kids are interested in.

Here’s the thing. The dude who ‘likes my profile picture’ does not speak English well, which isn’t a problem in itself, but his wording is creepy. Just the way he repeated some words about ‘knowing you more and more’ is off-putting.

Imagine if a message like that reaches a young teen. Ick.

Clicking on his profile tells me his account is private and I have to follow him back to access it.

Not interested. Ick ick.

Instead, I’m able to use this example to explain to the kids how to recognize, and handle such a situation.

I can explain many things to them, like how the picture he uses as his profile is probably fake, or about luring language, that kind of thing.

I engage my kids by asking them questions:

  • Why does it sound weird?
  • What about this request would make you feel uncomfortable?
  • How is he trying to engage me?

Looking back at the beginnings of social media, I realize now  that I made many mistakes when I started joining various apps. Back then, when it was all new and I was a first-time mom home alone with a baby, I jumped in somewhat blind. I was enticed by the possibilities. The internet was evolving and growing, communities were building, blogs were being created, apps started up and became more commonplace…it was all very captivating. In addition, I wanted to maintain, and improve my computer skills. I realized that the internet was here to stay and I was going to need my skills for future income potential. Staying home with a baby meant I had that opportunity – after all, there are many self-improvement opportunities these days you can take part in just by clicking the right link, the right youtube video, the right tutorial.

I have no regrets joining when I did. Because all of this experience, and the massive amount of reading I do on the web, I feel better equipped to navigate the kids’ internet activities today. My positive and negative experiences have taught me a thing or two which I can now share with the kids.

Face it, the internet is here to stay. At least until the zombie apocalypse happens…🙃

It’s almost second nature these days, with the kids and their constant internet obsession, isn’t it.

Another thing I’ve come to realize: it’s rare that I unplug often. Even if I want to, it seems practically impossible. The kids sports alone take up a lot of time with the various apps, as does their school communications, constant renewals of registrations, fundraising activities and all the rest of it. Email is ongoing…

Some days the kids remark on our complaints that they spend too much time on screens. They claim we spend just as much time with electronics as they do. It’s unfortunate that they don’t truly realize that much of our time isn’t watching fortnite, hockey or slime-making videos, but rather updating schedules or dealing with similar obligatory activities. I mean, I pay bills online, sometimes I shop online too. I work. And read. Or write (like now…that’s my pleasure and I’m not letting anyone get in the way of that. Boo.)

“Why don’t you transfer your hockey schedule into the family calendar for me instead of watching whatever you’re looking at,” I might say to a kid. “I’d much rather do anything else than deal with google calendar now.”

He’s not really into it.

“Feel free to read the school newsletter and mark down pertinent dates on the family calendar for me,” I might suggest to the other kid.

She’s too busy creating a new slime version she saw on a 5 minute craft app thingy on IG. 🙄

So I keep plugging away, maintain an interest in all things internet while those kids of mine still live here at home, and hope for the best.

Interestingly enough, sometimes I even learn something from them. Just the other day I was educated on how to post a video of a cackling witch on IG by my 11yo.

“It’s not taping.” I said to her.

“You have to hold down the button the entire time,” she said. “Otherwise it stops taping”.

Ah. 😊

As far as the creepy men who follow me?

I’m not looking for connections with you. Buzz off.


20 thoughts on “More on Instragram: creepy followers

  1. I have two (that I know of so far) that are rather … buxomly … young ladies who are instantly interested in me and want a serious relationship with me. I’m like “Are you kidding me???” they must think that I have “STUPID” written on my forehead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I must say I have creepy men follow me or request to and one sent me a message on there saying I had such a beautiful smile and let’s be friends on her .. yuck!!well he was deleted fast and blocked . Nasty … yeah need to watch your kids on there ..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Creepy followers are EVERYWHERE!!! Ugh. And I really feel like the only reason I have social media anymore is so I can keep tabs on not just my kid, but the technology. Because SOME days, I just wish there WAS a zombie apocalypse so we wouldn’t have to deal with it! Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have recently had 2 different men on Words with Friends start chatting in the sidebar. The first one disappeared when I said I didn’t want to chat, only to play the game. The second one, who I am now in the middle of a first game is chatting like a lovesick teenager. Umm, not interested and I’m not your darling.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t use Instagram a lot, but what I don’t like is the search and the new videos. It’s choosing things that are way inappropriate (for me even), and I’d hate to have some kid stumbling into that. I thought Instagram used to have a lot of standards to prevent some of what I’m seeing, but maybe that went out the window when FB bought them. The problem is you click on something to see “what the heck is this?” and some flag gets set in the background and then you see more. I thought Instagram originally was just a place to share photos with your friends and see theirs, but there is a lot more to it. People see my posts who I don’t even know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There’s a lot to learn. Basically Facebook owns and controls them so even though I don’t have my two linked (IG posts don’t show on my fb wall or vice versa, I have that deactivated) I’m sure the algorithm has some way of monitoring what I do on both apps.

      I’m still learning…


  6. Hey, Claudette – I actually have a category on my blog called, “creepy followers.” In the early days of my blog I got several “follows” that happened so fast after posting that it would have been impossible for the “follower” to have actually read anything I wrote – and when I checked them out found them to be, erm..ICKY. Majorly ICKY. I never use Instagram, except when I am alerted that a family member has posted something I should see, and then I just look at Facebook, because it will probably be there, too; but my non-use of it hasn’t stopped strage men I don’t know from asking if they can follow me.
    And you already know what a disaster my first attempt at online dating was – scammers seem to equate “widow” with “idiot.” Sigh. Just another safety thing women have to incorporate into everyday living.

    It gets old.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing that. I’ll look at the category. ❤

      I also made a point of not combining fb with IG; whatever. I have a love/hate relationship with fb but do like the contacts with my European family, and messenger option. And the neighborhood community thing.

      My point is definitely that I learn on my IG account so I can teach, and block, on the kid’s account. I monitor her closely and block regularly. The education is ongoing…😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure I actually ever posted anything under that category! I was just freaked out so I created the category in case I’d have to blog a plea for moral support! Ha! And bravo on your involved mothering. It is so difficult and confusing to try to balance allowing my autistic daughter to be the adult she is with helping her keep herself safe. Fortunately she’s not very interested in creepy stuff on the internet and I think the privacy settings I’ve put in place are working — so far.

        Liked by 1 person

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