THE BLOG

The Teenage Guide to Instagram

12/11/2014 09:54 GMT | Updated 10/01/2015 10:59 GMT

My youngest (and newly teenage) daughter, has recently developed a love affair with Instagram. Please don't judge my parenting skills, I fought diligently against any flirtation with social media until the required age, but as soon as she reached the magic '12', she was on it. As predicted, she's not been off it since.

I've watched from the sidelines as she's picked up the rules and one thing I've noticed, is that the teenage rules to instagram are very different from the *cough* middle-aged slightly older ones....

Rule no. 1 - The Follow. If you absolutely have to allow your mother to follow you, then make sure she is fully aware of the 'no liking' rule. And if she ever attempts to comment, block her. Immediately. In case you're wondering, this goes for any other family member too.

Rule no. 2 - The Block. If you want to stay out of trouble but remain 'in' with your besties, make sure you block your mother before any late night Instagram antics. Don't worry, you can always follow her again tomorrow and she will never doubt your 'honest' mistake when you explain that your finger slipped.

Rule no. 3 - The Likes. Let's face it, it's all about the 'likes'. If your latest pic gets less than the required 50, delete it. Along with any others that have been similarly unappreciated.

Rule no. 4 - The Selfie. This is a big one so stay tuned Instagrammers: (i) take the picture from the highest vantage possible; (ii) half a face is way cooler than the whole face (just an eye is even better); (ii) make sure you write 'How am I so ugly?' or similar, as a caption, it encourages suitably ingratiating comments.

Rule no. 5 - The Montage. Want more followers? You need to get with the white backgrounds Instagrammers! And remember, it's quality, not quantity. The fewer the pics, the more popular you are without even trying. Seriously, all the best people have only three pictures displayed (with 50+ likes of course).

Rule no. 6 - The Hashtag. This is where it's at people. Ignore the so-called 'experts' and include as many as you can #justforthelolz and #banter being current favourites.

Rule no. 7 - The Username. Under no circumstances are you ever to use just your name. Underscores, kisses and emojis are your friend (you can never have too many). Oh and don't forget to change it every month or so, just to keep everyone on their toes.

Rule no. 8 - The Direct Message. One piece of good news is that 'The Olds' do not appear to have caught on to the DM aspect of Instagram just yet. You can keep up with your BFFs (you know, the ones you spend the whole day with but still have soooo much to say to when you get home) and the best bit? They have no clue! Be sure not to use your mum's iPad though #justsaying.

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Well my friends, I reckon that just about covers it. You know me, always willing to assist in keeping us parents one step ahead of the game.

#yourewelcome #justforthelolz #swag #banter

This post was originally published on '3 Children and It'.