There is no question that social media is expanding faster by the second. It seems that every free minute a teenager has, they are snapping little moments of their lives or mindlessly scrolling through their explore page. Many of us can’t go a day without the internet–we’re stuck to our devices like glue.
Instagram, a photo-based social media platform, has grown into one of the most popular networking apps with 500 million daily users. While Instagram is commonly used for business and personal use, finstas–or “fake” Instagrams–made their debut a couple years ago.
"The irony behind this is that these are fake
accounts, exposing your true self."
A finsta is a secondary Instagram account that teenagers use to rant, or expose their real selves, to a small audience. The word finsta combines the words “fake” and “Insta.” Ironically, while “fake” is part of the word “finsta,” they’re anything but fake–they show the real sides of people. In an article by Valeriya Safronova, college student Amy Wesson states, “You post things you wouldn’t want people other than your close friends to see, like unattractive pictures, random stories and drunk pictures from parties.”
Finstas are the gateway to dark secrets–ones that belong to the account owner or someone else in their life. Although, there are some teenagers who use these accounts to post about their day and show off their favorite memes, others make posts that actually reveal the side of the individual they don’t want the public to see. Because the follower count on the average finsta is small, most teens use these accounts to rant about their problems, and it can often be displayed as forms of hate or cyberbullying.
"Finstas may seem fun in the beginning, but
may lead to unwanted consequences."
Personally, I’ve never had an Instagram because people tend to make their lives picture-perfect on their public accounts but act differently in person. I like to keep my life personal, and people don’t need to know everything that happens in my world.
There is no point to owning a finsta. If I made one for the purpose of showing off my personal life while expecting privacy, it wouldn’t be able to serve it’s real goal. Just because an account is set to private and given the label “finsta,” that doesn’t mean people outside of the follower count are completely blocked from the content. Screenshots exist–they can spread faster than wildfire.
I have a photo gallery, so why does it need to be public? The quality of my life shouldn’t be judged by the amount of likes I get. And if something was meant to stay private, it should’ve never been posted in the first place, no matter what account it’s on.
Finstas are a platform for teenagers to express themselves. However, nothing can actually be hidden. We never know who is looking at our profile or what that person’s intentions are. Just because something is posted to a “confidential” account, doesn’t mean other people can’t see it. We should be more aware of what we are posting online and realize that it may seem fun in the beginning, but may lead to unwanted consequences later on.