How teens are hiding their real lives with ‘fake’ Instagram accounts
It’s called Finstagram, and is defined as a secondary Instagram account where a user shares real, unedited and humorous photos between a close circle of friends. These accounts allow a user to reveal their “real life” without damaging the flawless facade that’s followed on their “Instagram life”.
Finsta, a mashup of “fake” and “Instagram”, lets users reveal themselves in their most unedited form. That ‘I just woke up — literally’ photo you send to your best friend after a night out? Or the gluggy frozen meal you have for dinner 90 per cent of the week? Yep, that’s what makes the Finsta cut.
Created mainly by teenagers and young adults, Finstagrams are intimate platforms where the user posts images intended for specific friends only. They are locked accounts, so users are able to screen their followers. In an age where 14 million Australians are on Facebook, 2.8 million on Twitter and over 5 million on Instagram, it’s hard to imagine who has the time or the energy for an additional account.
In an interview with the New York Times, 18-year-old college student Amy Wesson revealed her reasons for developing a secondary account to her already 2,700 strong following on Instagram.
“Finstas are private accounts that you only let your closest friends follow,” she said.
“You post things you wouldn’t want people other than your friends to see, like unattractive pictures, random stories about your day and drunk pictures from parties.”
Amy’s Finstagram account has a grand total of just 50 followers.
The desire for an ‘unfiltered’ account that eliminates the #blessed and #ilovelife attachments to photos has become more and more in demand. This type of account is for the friendships that froth on your flaws, but love you all the same, #nojudgement.
Social media, in one capacity or another, has become a part of life that the user must manage on a daily, sometimes weekly basis. A burden, some would say. For users, Finstagram takes the design and construction out of picture posts. Instead, users are left with a ‘carefree’ platform — a platform where they are able to portray authentic versions of themselves without the pressure of a flawless finish or #surreal surrounding.
“Psychologically this is a good thing. Instead of getting affirmation through thousands of followers, a Finsta account says ‘hey guys here’s the real me’ and that’s a great thing,” said psychologist Sandy Rea.
“I think it’s nice to have your public self, and your private self that you share with your intimate circle. A good identity of yourself forms when there’s synchronous between our public and private self.