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Why some teenagers are choosing to create a second Instagram account

Katie Gruninger, Web Editor

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Finstas, or fake Instagram accounts, are trending with teenagers. These accounts are often less polished accounts, and the posts made on them are not for parents or relatives. Instead, they are posted for the benefit of close friends.

Despite what the name suggests, there isn’t much that is fake about these accounts. Typically, these are second accounts with photos of embarrassing moments or questionable behavior. These are very real photos that show the interests and activities, illegal and legal, of the account owner as well as his or her true feelings toward others and his or her adventurous side. Individuals who maintain finstas often have a standard account as well. Their main accounts usually have hundreds of followers, are often made public and post safe pictures that depict a picture-perfect life.

In contrast, finstas are reserved for more private pictures. These accounts are usually private and have a limited number of followers. Typically, the user of the finsta will only follow his or her closest friends and avoids following accounts that would be disappointed in what they post, like a parents, aunts or uncles, employers or youth pastors. Posts can be anywhere from rowdy and hysterical to the absurd. Having this second account, allows a teenager to show who he or she really is instead of always posting a perfectly positioned and edited photo.

Finsta accounts don’t post often, but when a post is made it often includes embarrassing or silly photos. Some posts could even get the account owner in trouble if posted on a real Instagram account. These posts are similar to those found on SnapChat.

“I love using my finsta because I can be ugly, funny, and say how I feel with only people I want to follow me,” an anonymous 17-year-old girl said.

Teenagers who talk openly about their second account acknowledge that they essential have two digital selves.

“My finsta is different from my normal Instagram because my finsta lets me be more free about what I post and actually post how I really feel,” an anonymous 15 year old said.

With the interest in finstas increasing, the number of followers is starting to increase. More and more teenagers are creating them and finding others to follow. This new interest is defeating the original purpose of finstas. Having close to or just over 100 followers is hardly a private account. Plus, the more followers one has, the greater the risk for sharing. Because remember, unlike SnapChat these images don’t disappear after a certain amount of time and screen-shots are always a possibility. Private doesn’t always mean private with social media.

“I don’t tag anyone in my finsta post and I don’t follow my real Instagram account to try and keep my finsta low key,” an anonymous 17-year-old girl said.

There is often a lot of talk around school about posts made on finstas. Again, this makes the original post not-so-private. So when people post on these accounts, they need to expect conversation. Others will talk about what they see, and the person making the post can not control who hears or shares it.

“I feel like finstas aren’t a good thing because a lot of the time people will make posts that make fun of other people or show things they shouldn’t be posting,” senior Sydney Pearce said “I also think finstas aren’t as private as people think they are and that anyone that follows it can show the users posts to anyone.”

It seems that the pressure of showing a perfect life on social media is leading teenagers to these “fake” accounts. Many Instagram users who maintain two accounts, now post on their finsta more than the original account. The pressure to be perfect or get a ton of likes is eliminated with finsta, so many are starting to prefer it.

“I prefer using my finsta over my normal Instagram because you can say what you want and post what you want without worrying what someone thinks,” an anonymous 16-year-old girl said.

Finsta users do not post to impress. They post to express who they really are, and the freedom provided by this account gives the individual a stronger sense of self like.

“Having a finsta account gives me a social media freedom to be who I truly am,” an anonymous 17-year-old girl said.

Although opinions on finstas vary, the bottom line is these accounts allow users to be more expressive and true to themselves. Whether it is a secret one always wanted to share or an embarrassing part of one’s life, these accounts allow users to get out of their comfort zone and break societal social media expectations. These accounts allow users to show aspects of their lives they’ve always wanted to share but never got to share.

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The student news site of Manteo High School
Why some teenagers are choosing to create a second Instagram account