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AIBU? Vacuous risqué Instagram "influencing"

(71 Posts)
Dollyparton3 Tue 02-Jun-20 18:16:29

I'm probably going to sound like an old duffer here but here we go:

We've just had our 4th ding dong with my 19 year old SD. She thinks that Instagram is the centre of the universe, more important than any of her real life relationships and worth not seeing any of her extended family during lockdown for.

For context, she posted yet another Katie price wannabe image a few weeks back, the most extreme/revealing yet and luckily another family member jumped in to advise her that it was over the line. Her father (my DH) has tackled this with her numerous times and it always results in her refusing to engage with him in any way for months (the longest was 9 months before) so it's not that he doesn't step up, our other very close family member took the baton before we even passed it.

She has a public profile with 3,300 followers, when you scroll onto their profiles they're mostly older men who only follow other girls with the same sleazy stuff in their profiles.

SD refuses to engage with any of us on the subject and has blocked everyone, choosing to sit at her mums in lockdown and sulk. The irony is that we can still see what she's posting because it's a public profile.

She's an intellectual girl, but when I look at some of the girls who have commented on her image "omg, you're unreal" "love you babes, so much I want to cry" etc etc they all have the same stuff going on. All profiles with over 100 vacuous selfies, tag the occasional boohoo outfit and gain several hundred likes from old men who should know better. I have no doubt that the DM's she gets from some of these men turn the air blue.

AIBU in feeling extreme resentment towards the trend that has turned some of our most promising young women into tarts with no concern over their privacy or safety? It's as if the competition is fierce to do the most daring and risky stuff online just to get likes.

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chocolateneededrn Tue 02-Jun-20 18:21:41

I mean, you might not like it as a parent, and I can see why, but she's an adult. You can't really tell her what she can and can't post online, it's up to her.

flingo Tue 02-Jun-20 18:25:40

I agree with the PP. it's great that you care but the stronger your opposition the harder it will be for her to back down and change course. She will likely mature beyond this attention seeking phase but you might be making it more difficult for her to stop if she thinks she'll lose face. It's her body and her choice what she does with it and really all you can do is accept and love her and hope she comes through. I'd hate it too but I think you have to play the long game.

BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 18:26:31

She's an adult. Leave her alone. Her body, her life, her choice - it's nothing to do with you.

Dollyparton3 Tue 02-Jun-20 18:29:47

Ok I'm sensing that I am a bit of a fuddy on this. I'm just gutted that so many young girls all follow this image obsessed medium I guess. We're waiting this one out now and leaving well alone. It doesn't stop the frustration though

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7ofNine Tue 02-Jun-20 18:33:05

I'm with you, OP. People should think more of themselves than posting this utter trash, milking likes.

rosiethehen Tue 02-Jun-20 18:37:06

I think it's quite sad, but it gives them a dopamine hit and dopamine is addictive.

Pebblexox Tue 02-Jun-20 18:40:47

She's an adult, ands it her body. Simple as that. You don't have to like it, but you do have to accept that she's free to do as she pleases.

BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 18:40:59

@Dollyparton3 Your concerns seem to be related to you being very out of touch.
Her posting a picture on instagram is not an "obsession" any more than you posting on here. It take no more time or energy. She can still go to university, she can still have a career.
I trained as a teacher and was told that if we had anything risqué on our social media then make it private - not to take it down, not that we couldn't be teachers but just to change the settings - and it was just a suggestion for our own benefit, not a rule.
I'm now a lawyer and we can post whatever we like as long as it doesn't bring the firm into disrepute...which usually requires nipples and a backlash from those nipples. The firm wouldn't check my account, it would only be an issue if it became relevant to work. If she wanted to go into either of these careers (which are probably some of the strictest for social media) then she'd have at least four years before she starts work and any of this would apply.
These men, although sleazy, are not nearby, do not have her personal information and are not threats to her. She can evidently deal with the gross messages by ignoring like any sane person. There is no cause for concern here. This is not the risk equivalent of standing on a street corner or getting into cars where any random man could harm you.
I'm not sure exactly what your concerns are so if you could explain more clearly then maybe we could discuss it but it seems like you either have legitimate but misplaced fears (most likely), that you're trying to project your own (slight out of date) views on morality onto her or that you're just excessively controlling over another adult's body.

kenandbarbie Tue 02-Jun-20 18:48:11

Yabu to call her a tart.

1Morewineplease Tue 02-Jun-20 18:56:23

I’m an old duffer myself.
All I can see from these instagrammers is low self esteem, pretentiousness, vanity and envy.

Trouble is, as others have said, it’s her life. The fact that it’s consuming her to the point of self excluding herself from real life, is very sad indeed. Too many , mainly young , intelligent women ( and men too) seem to need to feed off these ‘likes’ and vacuous comments .

I believe that so much of the anxiety that people feel , about themselves, stem from this gobshite.
I’ve seen and heard many posts and comments from people who have fallen victim to this rubbish who feel so bad about themselves because they don’t fit in to this falsehood.

It is, in many cases, an addiction where , unless you get a certain number of likes or comments or feel good responses that you are doing something wrong and need to push further, hence isolating even more in order to feed the addiction.

I’m prepared to be flamed for being out of touch, but there’s so much damage being done to young and vulnerable people.

Reinga Tue 02-Jun-20 19:03:28

Yabvvu to refer to any woman as a "tart".
You have expressed your concern to her and she has decided, as an adult, that she will continue to post as she chooses on her own social media profiles.

Dollyparton3 Tue 02-Jun-20 19:03:52

@bumpbundle I hear you, but this is a public account. So what happens when job applications start to go in? The majority of employers I know (myself included) check out social media profiles before interviewing someone.

And what about the local legacy? If you're young and socialising there's every chance you can give a first impression before you meet someone. In a small town there'a every chance you're sending out the wrong signals if your social media looks self absorbed and high maintenance. I just wish it could be used for more powerful messages

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Dollyparton3 Tue 02-Jun-20 19:10:28

@1morewineplease this is exactly that situation. Basing her entire self worth on the number of likes for a post and shutting down anyone who doesn't affirm this behaviour is where we are.

Another young friend of mine is a true influencer engaging with people on a talent that she has and talking about it regularly. And it's a unique hobby that doesn't attract the attention of the shiny bright people online who look fancy and post images of Chanel handbags for likes. I think that's what disappoints me about other young girls. Anyone can photoshop an image of their cleavage and stick their tongue out and get an instant hit. This seems to be an aspirational cause for some young girls now.

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Phrowzunn Tue 02-Jun-20 19:19:32

I’m not old (early 30s) and I completely agree with you OP (including the tart comment to be honest). Social media is an absolute plague on society. It’s just fame / infamy on a much smaller scale and (as fame does) it is absolutely ruining peoples’ sense of what is normal, acceptable, healthy, the list goes on. I would be gutted if that were one of my daughters, absolutely gutted.

1Morewineplease Tue 02-Jun-20 19:23:21

Indeed @Dollyparton3
I’ve heard a number of girls in my primary school (!) who believe that instagramming is almost real life to them.

I could weep .

Ughmaybenot Tue 02-Jun-20 19:29:35

You’re completely unreasonable to refer to women making different choices to you as ‘tarts’. Don’t do that.
It makes her happy, and she’s an adult. Leave her go.

malificent7 Tue 02-Jun-20 19:34:17

Trouble exists so it is "real life". It riles me too but girls have always craved praise for their beauty. It shouldn't be like this but she is an adult so you cannot police it.

Dollyparton3 Tue 02-Jun-20 19:43:34

@Phrowzunn thank you. I've questioned my view on this a lot and whether I'm a dinosaur but a
few bloggers I've discovered have the same view.

I'm lucky to work in an industry that isn't gender biased and have a lot of influential female colleagues. But they've all worked really hard to get to where they are just the same as the men have. They haven't posted on "the gram" and made a million overnight.

All I see is young women who think that sex sells. (And some men but not as many). I wouldn't mind if there was a powerful message that was behind the photo or even if we could debate that. But total shutdown on the conversation isn't empowering at all. (We have been told that she is empowered so back off) and we have.

I'm gutted. There's so many bigger talents she has. And I would call a man a tart just as easily as I would call a woman a tart. So I'm glad you agree.

Other posters are right in that we cant police it as she's an adult. That's absolutely a fair comment. I'll admit that I probably didn't make many sensible long term decisions until I was probably in my 30's and serious about life so we'll just have to block it from our view. If at any point down the line anything happens though that impacts on all of the very involved nurturing that our family worked hard to get right we'll have to grit our teeth and move on.

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Abbccc Tue 02-Jun-20 19:45:26

I know what you mean OP. And no, Instagram, Mumsnet or any SM isn't "real life" as much as actual real life is! Going out, seeing people, talking to people face to face, playing tennis, eating a meal, taking a shower etc is real life. We post about real life and discuss it, but it isn't real life.

Siepie Tue 02-Jun-20 19:54:42

YABVU to describe her as a 'tart'.

She's an intellectual girl, but when I look at some of the girls who have commented on her image "omg, you're unreal" "love you babes, so much I want to cry" etc etc they all have the same stuff going on.

So she's an intellectual girl with supportive friends? Sounds great.

In a small town there'a every chance you're sending out the wrong signals if your social media looks self absorbed and high maintenance. I just wish it could be used for more powerful messages

My DP posts a lot on Instagram, mainly make up and outfits. She follows other people who are into makeup, fashion, etc. You'd probably think she's 'high maintenance' and 'vacuous' as well. When she's not posting on Instagram, she's a consultant in the NHS.

Women can care about their physical image, selfies, make up and still be highly intelligent with good careers.

Copperblack Tue 02-Jun-20 19:54:54

I know lots of girls in their late teens and early twenties. Instagram obsession is very common it it’s usually a phase like lots of other things. I really wouldn’t get wound up about it if the rest of her life is well functioning.

I read the ‘four pillar plan’ which had some great ideas for digital detox, which my teens girls have enjoyed - particularly the one about taking photos on a trip out but not posting them, just enjoying them without waiting for likes. But it s only worth trying if they bring it up.

Nillynally Tue 02-Jun-20 20:00:03

No I think it's embarrassing and vacuous (I love that word) but she's an adult and entitled to do whatever the hell she pleases on the internet. So what if she wants to take risqué pictures and let old men leer over them, it's her choice. You can advise but it'll fall on deaf ears!

Dollyparton3 Tue 02-Jun-20 20:00:36

@Abbccc and this is one of my issues. We have an amazing, vibrant family with some lovely times together. We plan trips, we do out of the box things together. We have genuine face to face fun and we're a very supportive family.

You know what hits the page? The selfie in the toilet at the event, the pre-dress up for the night out. The 400 selfies that were taken in the hotel room "pre-pool" whilst we all waited with her little brother for two hours who was bored to go out for the day when we were on holiday two years ago. He was upset, we were all frustrated. She spent all day staring at her phone adjusting her photos and photoshopping then whilst we visited an amazing long haul destination venue that we'd been dying to see. None of us featured in that holiday by the way. Just her in a hotel room or by the pool.

Totally twisted reality

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GinWithASplashOfTonic Tue 02-Jun-20 20:03:17

Yabu! She's 19, she's an adult therefore it's up to her what she posts on her social media accounts.

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