We’ve all heard that pop stars, politicians and other public figures are buying Instagram followers to enhance their illusion of popularity online. But did you know that the biggest consumer of fake Instagram followers is the average teenager? Yes, in the increasingly competitive social media world teenagers are trying to outdo each other by buying Instagram followers for their profiles. Some of them are as young as 14 years old. Where do they get the money to make these purchase and what are the hidden harms of this new trend?

Buying Instagram Followers the New Social Norm

Bullying has always been around but now it’s gone online creating an environment where grown ups can’t see or control it. Not only is there the pressure to look a certain way or be good at sports now you must factor in the added stress of having a popular online image. Instagram, the hip new social app and the favourite among the younger generation, boast more new user signups then it’s predecessor Facebook. It’s the new way our teenagers communicate but also the new way they judge.

Hidden Dangers Of Buying Instagram Followers

There are many dangers involved with wanting to be Insta-popular for teenagers. The most obvious being the time they spent devoted on creating an engaging profile with catchy photos. The fact that they might be exploited online or give in to social pressures to project themselves in a certain matter. As many people have found fame by posting age inappropriate photos of themselves. Or getting caught up in online fraud when paying for Instagram followers.

It is commonly heard of that people are purchasing Instagram followers for their profiles to make it seem more popular. However, teenagers are one of the biggest market group caught up in the business of buying Instagram followers. Yet to have money of their own a lot of these teens are using their parent’s credit cards without their approval. Not only is this dangerous because they are handing out credit card details to strangers but these websites that they are purchasing from do not have buyer’s protection. There is little they can do once payment has been made and they are not happy with the service.

Teenage Trend Of Buying Instagram Followers

The Price Of Buying Instagram Followers

Not only are Instagram followers and likes expensive to purchase with prices ranging anywhere from $20 to $1500 depending on which package is chosen. Many teenagers do not fully understand the dangers of online fraud. If they are not happy with the serviced delivered, or if it wasn’t delivered at all, there isn’t much they can do other then tell their parents and have their parents make a credit card charge back. The problem with this is when they purchase Instagram followers they are entering a contract and therefore it is not a guarantee they will get their money back.

Not only is buying Instagram followers hard on the pocket it is also hard on ones self esteem. To think that teenagers these days need to purchase Instagram followers to seem popular online and therefore be accepted in their daily life at school just adds more pressure on someone going through a tough period of their life.

Parents can ensure that their child is safe online by open discussion and monitoring what gets viewed online. Also by questioning their child before handing over credit cards they can make sure their child does not go spending their money on buying Instagram followers. If they want to purchase these followers then maybe it is time for a friendly chat.