Instagram is seemingly designed to inspire jealousy. It’s where people post filtered photos of their brunch, latest vacation, or a fancy new outfit, all lit and framed in a manner that suggests everything in their life is as perfectly composed as the images in their camera roll.
According to a 2015 study byPew Research Center, 92 percent of teens go online daily, and nearly 24 percent say they are constantly plugged into social media. While Facebook remains the most popular social media site, Instagram is right behind it, with more than half of all teens (61 percent are girls) actively checking it. That creates a lot of pressure to post photos that garner validation in the form of likes, and with so many people watching, it can feel far too manicured and staged. We’ve all likely seen those photos of carefully placed table arrangements and girls laughing with champagneflutes at a rooftop bar you weren’t invited to.
But there’s another side of Instagram that’s steadily growing in popularity, one that’s hidden slightly beneath the surface and behind private usernames, where the photos are far more spontaneous and revealing. It’s called #Finstagram, and it’s chock full of the types of images teens don’t want you to see.
me, scrolling through my finstagram and laughing at my relatable captions and saying "me" out loud
— asia (@asiaxbrown) February 15, 2017
What is Finstagram?
AFinstagram, or “finsta” for short, is a “fake Instagram” account.The accounts are typically private, with usernames that don’t give away the identity of the owner right away.The term was created and popularized by high school teenagers, but the fad has moved to the college scene as well. It’s mainly used to free people up from the confines of a traditional account, making them feel better about posting ridiculous memes, ugly selfies of their friends, and anything else that crosses their mind. It’s more fleeting like Twitter, less permanent than Facebook.
In other words, it gives teens and studentsthe opportunity to act like teens, to show their real personality without disrupting their aestheticor having parents or possible employers seeing them.
“Finsta is a place for stories about waking up late, having negative dollars in your bank account, or posting captions like ‘I’m an excellent housekeeper, every time I leave a man I keep his house,’” said Casey Reilly, 19, who goes to Townson University in Maryland, who keeps her finsta private.
Reilly defines finsta as roasting exes and funny memes; she doesn’t let “boring people” follow her because she doesn’t have time for that type of “negativity.”