The line between real and fake on Instagram is being blurred by a growing trend: Finsta.
In the last month, Deseret News, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed have all published articles about the recent trend, Finstagrams (Finsta). Do you know what a Finstagram is?
A Finsta consists of unfiltered photos, awkward captions, self-deprecating humor and painfully uncomfortable typos.
“It’s an attempt for the youth of our generation to humanize themselves to the world around them, a world that only sees the pre-planned, self-made brand that their real Instagrams portray, creating a sense of anonymity,” said Spencer Flake, a senior studying political science.
Finstas are considered fake Instagram accounts that are kept private and do not give away the identity of the owner, according to the Daily Dot, an internet culture news source.
Benjamin Elton, a senior studying psychology, said he has three accounts on Instagram. His 885 followers on his personal account see pictures of him hiking, traveling, being a model and him with his family and friends.
“There’s no rules,” said Elton. “I feel like I post whatever I want. You don’t have to worry about the aesthetic, who’s seeing your page or what people say about it because there’s just a select number of people that follow it.”
When logged in to TheRexburgRex, 389 followers see pictures and videos of him dressed as a giant T. rex. Originally inspired by a YouTube video, Elton uses this account to goof around and make people laugh.
Jessica Boeck, a freshman studying early childhood education said people use their Finstas to escape reality.
“I post screenshots of my friends, ugly selfies, me doing silly things that I would never want to post anywhere else than my Finsta,” Elton said.
In a recent National Cyber Security Alliance study, 60 percent of teen internet users admitted they had secret online accounts. Only 28 percent of parents suspected their child might have an unknown account.
“I got a Finsta because I wanted to post random things,” Boeck said. “Just things that I only wanted only my close friends to see.”
Paul Booth, a social media expert and associate professor at DePaul University’s College of Communication, said the big reason why people are creating Finstas is to have that creative control on Instagram.
“Any social media account is a reflection of ourselves, and they’re very curated,” Booth said.
Booth said Finstas give users the opportunity to only allow close friends to follow.
“This niche audience that follows your Finsta is usually your close friends, allowing you to curate an authentic version of yourself without having to worry about how many likes you’re getting or feeling judged by your followers,” Booth said.
Ultimately, Booth warned that anything posted privately still has the potential of becoming public knowledge.
“Someone could also share it, or a friend gets angry at you and sends it to everyone,” Booth said. “Nothing online is private.