“We are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and…our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.” – Brené Brown
One of the most wonderful aspects of social media is that it gives us the chance to participate, show up, and engage in the incredible Christian community around the world. Our AOA community is spread wide over many different countries and states, yet we are also a closely connected community rooted in the love of God and the compassion He asks us to show to each other.
To foster this community and give each AOA student the opportunity to connect with teachers and fellow classmates, we will be launching a new AOA Instagram this January. We already have an AOA Twitter account and Facebook page, and we hope you will connect with us on all three social networks!
Social media has incredible power to connect us; however, there are some risks that come along with it, so we want you as parents to be equipped to use social media for all its good while keeping the dangers in check.
If you want your child to be able to engage with teachers and fellow classmates on the new AOA Instagram, there are a few things we want you to know.
1. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all require users to be 13 years old to have their own account.
If your child is younger than 13, you absolutely can still connect with us, but you will need to create an account for yourself or a family account.
2. You have some control over what’s on your “feed.”
Just like the Facebook newsfeed, Instagram has a similar feature. Your main page on Instagram, the feed, is populated with pictures from accounts you follow. If you want to make sure only appropriate things are showing up on your child’s feed, be sure to monitor who you allow your child to follow. Better yet, decide together which accounts you and your child should follow. Some great starter accounts to follow are:
And, of course, @aoacademy
3. You can see the posts an account has liked and recent searches.
To encourage transparency and ongoing conversation with your teen, make it a habit to sit down with them and look over the pictures they’ve liked on Instagram and the keywords for which they’ve searched.
You can see all the photos an account has liked by going to its profile page. Click on the 3 horizontal lines on the top right and choose Settings at the very bottom of the menu. From Settings you can choose to view Posts You’ve Liked.
To see recent keywords, hashtags, or accounts that your child has searched for, click the magnifying glass icon on the bottom menu strip of the app. Click into the search bar, but don’t type anything. From this view, you can scroll down to see all Recent searches.
As with anything Internet-based, allowing your children on social media requires intentionality and involvement to make sure they are staying safe. If you want more tips on how to increase online safety in your home, check out AOP blog post on an expert’s advice for online safety.
We hope you will connect with us online! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to send contact our social media manager Maria Constantine via a Facebook message.
Maria Constantine is a new member of the marketing team for AOA’s parent company, Alpha Omega Publications (AOP). She now manages the social media for AOA and AOP, but before working on AOP’s marketing team, Constantine taught at AOA as a high school English teacher.