Instas vs. Finstas

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Madeline Fisher

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Fake + Instagram = Finsta

As if one social media account is just not enough, teens are creating second private accounts to show their “real” side. What was once kept under lock and key, is now being posted for only select people to see. But how private are these private accounts? 

“They’re [finsta accounts] not very private. Most people still have a lot of followers that they don’t know, and since it’s the internet, whatever you post stays on the internet forever,” Taylor McDonald, freshman, said.  

People on social media put on such a façade about their lives that they have turned to second private accounts called “spam accounts” or “finstas,” fake Instagram accounts, to show who they really are and how they really behave. 

“Private, less visible accounts allow teens the opportunity to move away from the carefully cultivated, public persona on their real Instagram account – and present a rawer, ‘this-is-the-real-me’ personality to a smaller group of friends,” Joanne Orlando, The Conversation author, said in her article How teens use fake Instagram accounts to relieve the pressure of perfection.  

It is common that in high school, teens get in trouble for what they post online. Rarely is it the case anymore that teens get in trouble for what they post on their public account. All of the secrets and “tea” are found on teens “private” spam accounts.  

“They [finstas] can be very dangerous and toxic depending on how you use them. I use mine to post funny memories, so I think it’s completely fine, but some people use them to rant, and they become very toxic very fast,” Ansley Melnick, sophomore, said.  

The idea behind a spam account is to only have those who you want to follow your account, follow it. Almost like a “for your eyes only,” but who is to say that someone is not going to screenshot your posts? Spam accounts can be a great tool for those who need it, while some may be abusing the power.  


Spam accounts: the modern-day diary 

Some use private accounts as a way to vent or rant about something weighing heavily on their mind. Like a diary, spam accounts are used to post about their day. What was once written before bed with pen and paper can now be typed and posted on social media within a matter of seconds.  

“It’s [finsta account] a more private account to share everyday life occurrences with your close friends,” Mckenna Casquejo, senior, said.  

Finstas are a whirlwind of emotions. Teens can post photos of themselves ranging anywhere from happy and excited to videos of them having an emotional breakdown. Finstas are used by some as an outlet to get rid of the thoughts in their heads and share them on some sort of platform.  

“Ultimately, a Finsta is a chance to share a goofier, less-edited version of yourself with a trustworthy group of friends – and for those friends to see less ‘perfect’ posts, and more real ones,” Caroline Forsey, author of What’s a Finsta? We explain this confusing Instagram trend, said 

Main accounts are used for the sole purpose of posting the “highlights” of a person’s life such as taking a trip to the beach, a picture in front of a graffiti wall, or a post about being thankful for their “best friend” (AKA their significant other). While it may not seem okay to post more than once on a regular Instagram account, finsta accounts are seen completely differently. Teens will post numerous times throughout the day, usually over minor inconveniences such as an awkward encounter in public or how they got a 30 on their math test. This behavior is not socially accepted on main Instagram accounts because those are seen as more reserved accounts only to be used when you have something “post-worthy” to upload.  

“The owners of the accounts post at least once a day, and that’s all I see on my page. It’s basically just them complaining about their lives to get attention most of the time,” Campbell Munsey, freshman, said.  

Some may be oblivious to the fact that they are alleviating any stress by posting on their Finsta accounts. Teens may not realize that they are using this account to vent and rant to their followers, thus acting as a way to relieve any tension that they may be going through.  


Fin’sta get in trouble 

These fake Instagram accounts are meant to show the real sides of people. Students get in trouble due to their posts on social media all the time. Some face minor repercussions while others have to think about what they have done at home over their Out of School Suspension (OSS) punishment.  

I think it really depends on what they post. I personally think there should be consequences if it is affecting someone else, like cyberbullying,” Ryan Lofland, freshman, said.  

Athletes caught posting anything deemed inappropriate online could receive mild to severe punishment ranging anywhere from sitting out a game or being completely kicked off a sports team and may receive further punishment by administration.  

“They [athletes] have the right to say what they want to say; we all have opinions. Just as long as it’s not hurting anyone, I don’t see the big deal,” Sam Higgs, senior, said.  

Not only do students have to worry about the school seeing their posts, but employers are constantly monitoring their employee’s social media to see how they are representing the company.  

“It’s [bosses checking social media] okay because it’s how you present yourself, and it should reflect who you are, so unless you’re dumb on social media, it shouldn’t be a problem,” Ethan Ritchie, junior, said.  

Trouble with spam accounts can be avoided by being cautious about what is posted before it is put out into the world for everyone to see, or by simply choosing to stray away from the mainstream trend of having one. Finsta accounts can be an amazing tool for teens to vent and get whatever is stressing them out off their chest, but some misuse the platform and have to face the consequences.  

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