Perhaps you’re familiar with finstas, the secondary Instagram accounts used primarily by teens and young adults to post photos they don’t want to share on their primary accounts.
Finstas (a portmanteau for fake and Insta) can house a wide variety of pics, from shitposts to risqué selfies to hyper-specific memes the user only wants their best friends to see. They’re generally private, with highly curated followings — it’s not uncommon for finsta accounts to only have 10-15 followers. Unless you’ve been invited to follow someone’s finsta, it’s generally impossible to tell who the account belongs to. It’s essentially a secret, unfiltered Instagram oasis.
Everything I had known about social media up until this point was completely contradicted by what I was trying to accomplish with my Finsta. I had not realized how the nuances of social media have been ingrained in me until I made my finsta.
Finsta really does teach you a lot. You find out who cheating, who hoeing, who got played and who depressed etc. Need help making a life decision? Ask your finsta, need help on an outfit?? FINSTA
— Tashie🌻 (@_NatashaMarie_) January 31, 2019
Finstas appear as being accessible outlets to chronicle your thoughts and feelings throughout the day. To make an unfiltered look at your life, something that you don’t feel anybody should see.
“Everything I had known about social media up until this point was completely contradicted by what I was trying to accomplish with my finsta. Social media is a place where you showcase the best version of yourself, where posts should be driven by the goal of acquiring likes and comments, where an account is only relevant based on the number of followers it has, and a place for self-promotion. I had not realized how the nuances of social media have been ingrained in me until I made my finsta”, says Genevieve.
There are unspoken rules on Instagram: your images should fit an aesthetic standard. You shouldn’t post too much. You should be judicious about whose Stories you’re watching and when.
On your finsta, those rules go out the window, you can post whatever you want: a half-eaten doughnut you saw on the ground, a text from a crush, an incredible selfie that happens to be lit poorly.
To all the boys who have no idea screenshots of their texts are the primary content of my finsta— mac (@MacBoone) 26 août 2018
You can be as honest, as indulgent, as prolific, as performative as you want. And the only people who can see it — the only people who know you’re doing it at all — are the ones you’ve selected yourself.