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In addition to their drug, it seems that every generation has their social media of choice. For millenials and Gen Z kids, Instagram is among the most popular app for smartphones, second only to perhaps Snapchat. One of the appealing factors is that Instagram makes it easy to create more than one account and switch back and forth from the app. This feature was likely designed to make it simple for businesses and marketing directors to reach different audiences while still maintaining a personal social media presence, but now it is being used by teenagers for an interesting new social media trend- the finsta.
What is a finsta? The word is a portmanteau for “fake insta,” but that name is actually quite ironic. A finsta is a second account that teenagers create in addition to their main account. Their finsta is usually privatized and they are often exclusive about who they let follow them. While it is common for people to oversaturate and exaggerate their lives on social media to make themselves seem better, a finsta that takes you more behind the scenes of a person’s life. Instead of only posting the best pictures from your vacation, the posts that people make to their finstas can range from pictures of half their faces featuring a caption that is mostly a rant about something or someone in particular that upset them, to a silly/ugly picture of themselves with a funny caption. Finstas can also simply be used as spam accounts, where people post the pictures that didn’t make the cut for their regular account. In short, a finsta is a space on the internet where people post what they really think and feel. It’s a window into a more genuine and honest aspect of a teenager’s life. If your regular social media account is the mask that you wear online, your finsta is your way of taking off the mask and showing your true colors. In this way, it seems that a person’s finsta is the only, or at least the most significant, sincere part of their social media interactions.
What is the appeal of a finsta? For one thing, everyone has one. It’s a trend like any other that picks up followers simply by having them. But why would you want to spill your guts on the internet where everyone can see? What is comes down to is connecting with other people. Since your finsta is the most honest version of yourself, it is easier to post and talk with your friends who follow it. Once you’ve stripped away the layers of filters and photoshop that overtake your regular, or your “rinsta” posts, you can engage with people on social media on a deeper level. It’s a way of venting with your friends when you aren’t in the same room. It’s a way to show another side of yourself to people who see you every day. In the end, a finsta may be a passing trend, but it also might be a healthy thing for people to get used to being more honest on the internet. In fact, it would make sense for your “rinsta” and your “finsta” to switch names.
While having a finsta may seem like a silly trend, it’s certainly one of the most interesting social media outbreaks of these past few years. Having a completely separate account for a more authentic online presence is something that seems to make sense. If nothing else, having a second instagram account is certainly a less dangerous trend than some of the ones teenagers have come up with recently, like eating soap. Do you have a finsta? What inspired you to make one? What do you use it for?