Are fake Instagram accounts the next frontier?
Faking a good Insta is old news. Even your Mum knows how to apply a flattering filter or get a Facetune-perfect face - NBD. Want to know what's really trending with teenagers of 2017? Finstagrams. Known colloquially as Finstas, they're basically 'fake' Instagram accounts where teens can post emotional rants or funny/unflattering photos of themselves to a small, select group of friends. Technically, this is nothing new - ultra discreet peeps have been placing their account on private since the dawn of Instagram. But Finstas seek to serve the opposite purpose of a carefully edited Instagram post - they're a more authentic way of connecting with a close circle of friends.
We've no doubt many anti-social media celebs have been using Finstagrams for years. In fact, the fiercely private Kristen Stewart has even admitted it. But what's the point of a Finsta if you're not famous? Reporting on the 'trend', Man Repeller asked their teen contributor Kate Glavan (who has a Finsta, obvs) and this is what she said: "I look at my normal Instagram as a professional setting that anyone can see; my finsta is for my *angsty* teen feelings and ugly selfies that I snap in my Snuggie with my cat. I don't want the whole world to be able to see pictures of me with my retainer in, but I like posting funny things for my friends." (Fair enough, it's not like we'd double tap to see that either.)
And as far as who makes the cut for getting access to her Finstas, there's a definite thought process. "I guess the way I vet people who request to follow my finsta is if 1) I talk to them on a weekly basis 2) I feel comfortable with them seeing my more raw, emotional rants and 3) I trust they won't share what I post to my finsta with others," says Glavan. We can see how upsetting it would be if a trusted Finsta friend suddenly started sharing all your secret posts with others. And we guess with a Finstagram, there's no pressure to make your feed beautiful or perfectly balanced. It's a bit like people who make pet or baby Insta accounts to save their external social circle from being bombarded with #babyspam or #catsofinstagram.
"My real Instagram is certainly more for show, but I don't know if it's necessarily a bad thing," adds Glavan. "I guess it's all about first impressions. I'd rather someone see me in a cool pair of embroidered jeans than a picture of me walking my cat on a leash." While we definitely agree with that one, the mere presence of Finstagram makes us realise just how plugged in we are to the digital world. The fact that we even have an 'online identity' to preserve probably sounds baffling to older generations, but we're starting to see the merit in a Fintsa. If only to save work colleagues, relatives and acquaintances from our real, angsty, and daggy selves. Hold up, we think the kids might be onto something.
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