The art of the “finsta”

By Brittany Dillman, contributing writer —

The inevitable day came when parents invaded Facebook, and then subsequently Instagram and young people no longer ruled the realm of social media. They were no longer free to express whatever they wanted on their social media accounts anymore, because now there were chaperones.

With this came lots of scrambling, panic and frustration until a solution presented itself, which was the birth of the Finsta account.

The word Finsta is a combination of the words “fake” and “Instagram.” It is a second and private account on Instagram that mainly teenagers and 20-somethings have to post pictures that they do not deem appropriate for the general public to see. The account usually has a small and exclusive following that the user trusts and is close with personally.

“With a Finsta, you can post whatever you want without any consequences or repercussions because you only have like 30 followers and they’re all close friends,” said Olivia Ross, a freshman from Memphis who has more than 1,300 followers on her main Instagram account. “I personally try to make sure everyone that follows my Finsta is not the type of person to screenshot my pictures and send them around and if they do I block them.”

Social media has changed the way this generation expresses themselves completely. It is not just about how you present yourself in person anymore, there is now an online presence that you have to obtain as well. By putting your life on the internet, you are leaving yourself open to constantly be judged.

“I do feel a little pressured to make sure my real Instagram account displays me in a positive light,” said Ross. “But with a Finsta, you do not have to worry about the amount of likes you get or if you look cool or not.”

Young people’s “real” Instagram has become more of a way to project an unrealistically perfect, clean-cut, version of themselves to a large group of people to paint themselves in a good way. While ironically the “fake” Instagram is becoming the account of social media where young people feel like they can be more themselves and not filter their posts.

“These locked, pseudonymous accounts capture something rarely seen by people who follow these same users on their main accounts: reality,” said Valeriya Safronova in a New York Times article.

Real Instagram accounts have a set of unspoken rules attached to them. Users should not post multiple times a day, ugly selfies, mundane pictures or drunk pictures from the wild party you went to last night. These rules are the very thing that makes young people’s main Instagram accounts so unauthentic.

However, any type of post is welcomed on a person’s Finsta account.

Pictures with long rants as the caption, videos of car karaoke, underage drinking selfies and a photo series of selfies with snapchat filters on them are all posts that can and will be found on a Finsta account. The only true common factor behind all Finsta posts though is that it is used for true self-expression. Users have a judgement free outlet to share literally every aspect of their lives, no matter how boring and mundane or wild and inappropriate they are.

Sylvia Shipman

Sylvia Shipman

Features Editor & Social Media Manager

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