You’ll never keep up with all of the social media trends. No one will. It’s not something anyone should be tasked with or expected to do, to be honest. Besides, once a solid social media trend can be identified, it’s already old and worn out by the time it gets around to mainstream media outlets (See: List Articles.)
So, now that you feel at least a little bit better knowing that you’re not the only person, including social media professionals, who aren’t up on the latest social media trends, let’s give ou a new one: Finstagrams.
What is a finstagram? Simply put, a finstagram (or finsta) is a follower-restricted “fake Instagram” account that is either in addition to a “real Instagram” account (one that actually depicts the real world persona of the user), a main Instagram account that simply isn’t one that gives a real idea of who the user is, or an additional Instagram account that allows a user to post things that they wouldn’t normally post on their regular accounts?
Why Finstagrams? Blame mom and dad.
Many of these finstas are owned by teens who are well aware that their parents are watching what they do online and, well, are maybe a bit tired of it.
Teens create fake Instagrams for their close group of friends to follow. Finstas, for me, include crying posts (after taking a Calculus test), outfit posts when I need advice while thrifting, or more serious posts about my mental state and how I’m doing on rough school days. Finstas are full of screenshots of funny family group texts, reactions to celebrity news and memes about something Donald Trump did. – Manrepeller
It’s not this type of thing couldn’t be seen coming.
Remember AIM? The instant messaging forefather that was finally shuttered in December 2017? If you do, then you remember your screenname was probably something like “SuperCoolDude8939”. Needless to say, that was pretty much anonymity at its finest. Sure, there were those weirdoes who actually used their real names in the AIM screen, but for the most part, you only knew your friend’s name when they wrote it down on a sticky note and handed it to you so you could add it to your Buddy List when you got back to your dorm room.
That anonymity brought with it a few advantages. Your real life persona wasn’t immediately tied to your online persona. With Instagram, that level of anonymity is much more scant than it was in the late 1990s. If you’re on Instagram, it can be pretty easy for someone to find you via your email address or Facebook account, and that includes your parents.
So, making a finstagram account is just another way for teens to give themselves a bit of breathing room when it comes to their own online sharing with their own friends.
Don’t freak out, they’ll probably be onto something else by the time you even read this.