My Little Brother’s Instagram Use Frightens Me

by Mila De la Torre
Also Featured on KCBS

My Little Brother’s Instagram Use Frightens Me

by Mila De la Torre
Also Featured on KCBS
05.19.19
Photo: Luke van Zyl/Unsplash
05.19.19

Russian bots. Fake accounts. Catfishing. Social media is a minefield right now. To the point that this 17-year-old is concerned about the even younger generation.

When I first signed up for Instagram, I was in the fifth grade. My mom and I argued regularly about how much of my life I was sharing with the wrong people.

She’d sit on the couch, gripping my phone, and go through every single one of my followers. She grilled me on who I knew and how I knew them, and then deleted strangers and even friendly acquaintances one by one. At the time, I was super mad.

But now, I’m in high school. And when I look at my little brother’s Instagram use — it frightens me. When I saw that he had 1000 followers — I was shocked — and even a little impressed. But then I realized, there was no way my 13-year-old brother knew one thousand people. Who are these followers? Are they even real people?

I feel strange getting all protective of my younger brother’s Instagram. But now, in the Wild West of social media use and privacy restrictions — I guess my mom was right.

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