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The Finsta


In the social media age, image is everything. Who you’re talking to, what you’re doing, and where you’re doing it. We have every kind social media account to broadcast the image of yourself you want people to see, whether or not it is reflective of who you actually are. And, amidst this is something just for you. Somewhere you can be honest and share your thoughts only with the people you want. The finsta (“fake instagram”) is a place for everything: rants, stories of the night before, pictures only suitable for friends, and every embarrassing part of yourself you don’t want to show the world.

So, what exactly is a finsta? Like anything online, it is anything you want it to be. Most teens have a finsta, and use it to broadcast their emotions and current events to the people who care the most.

Like most new things kids do, their parents don’t tend to like finstas. It isn’t uncommon to see articles from parenting blogs and TV shows talking about the danger of their child having these secret accounts. Among these parents, a common theme of their opinions is that finstas are breeding grounds for peer pressure, sexual content, and most of all bullying. While this may be true for some people, what parents don’t recognize is that the semi-public documentation of adolescent emotions is far from new. Many people broadcast videos of themselves and their lives online. Before this was the online blog and diary. There are millions of personal blogs online, some anonymous and some not. And, as always, there has been the old-fashioned diary. The idea of a digital representation of someone’s personal life and thoughts isn’t new, and I think that’s what parents don’t understand. 

But don’t just take my word for it. To represent how diverse finstas can be, I decided to ask some of my friends what it means to them. When I asked what their finstas are for, the majority said that the account is for things they don’t want the public to see. One interesting answer was from a girl who had changed schools a couple of times and therefore has different groups of friends who don’t know each other. When asked what she uses her finsta for, she said “when something happens in my life, the first thing I wanna do is tell my friends. That can get annoying because I have lots of friends that don’t know each other. Having a finsta helps bring everybody together and allows me to get advice or tell a story and have everyone I love hear it and be able to comment at once. It feels like we’re all just one big group.”

Even though I can’t speak for everyone, I can say for myself and my friends that finstas aren’t for bullying. Even though the technology is new, the want to share your life with friends isn’t. These accounts can be a great way to express yourself and be able to look back on how things have changed. Technology changes, but friendship doesn’t!!