Reflections on the “finstagram” fad

As a senior beginning to navigate the territory of my early twenties, I have officially deemed myself irrelevant.

I’m usually up-to-date on the latest terms. My Urban Dictionary app on my iPhone slowly collects fake dust, and all is right with the world.

Yesterday at lacrosse practice, I got slammed in the face with a word I quite frankly had never heard before: “finsta.”

A young, spry sophomore chatted me while in line for a drill and said, “Jess. I have so many pimples on my upper lip that they’ve formed a freakingconstellation. Yesterday it was worse. Did you see the post on my finsta?”

Slowly, the gears on my brain began to turn, and I thought this “finsta” was some sort of new app I should download — before anyone noticed I wasn’t already on it. Then, more and more of my teammates started talking about their finstas and how hilarious they were on it.

The blank look on my face must have given me away.

“Wait, do you even follow me on finsta?”

Turns out, finsta is short for “fake Instagram.” Many of my friends have a private second Instagram account that only has 20-30 followers where they post embarrassing photos of themselves and their friends on the daily.

Basically, it’s like Snapchat but ten times more exclusive. And way more permanent if that’s even something worth noting. For millennials, it’s not.

Prior to this, I was semi-aware of the concept of a “finstagram.” I just hadn’t heard of the term yet. Originally, I thought it was stupid. I still do.

Who needs yet another account to scroll through and manage? Do people follow each other’s finstas from their finstas or their real Instagrams? If you don’t have one are you deemed lame, not funny enough to have a separate account to display your less-attractive, goofy side?

The idea of a “fake Instagram” is contradictory in nature, since it’s the realest slice of someone’s life you’ll get on the internet — sans filters, cover-up and fake smiles.

I asked my friend what she thought of them, and she said, “I only got one because my friend who’s a freshman suggested I get one.”

So maybe it’s a weird fad that is dumb and will eventually fade into the abyss of adulthood, swallowed up whole by cubicles and bank statements. Who has time to update a finsta when you have a mortgage?

She continued and said, “My boyfriend asked me if he could follow mine and I was like, um … idk. This is weird.”

So these 20 to 30 followers that I mentioned before are hardcore friends who are basically vying to be your future bridesmaids. The kind of ride-or-die friends who don’t bat an eyelash when they see you, butt naked at 4 a.m., shoving copious amounts of Pizza X breadsticks down your throat, sprawled out on the floor,

If this were the case, then my follower count for my theoretical finsta would be more like seven people. I need to make more friends.

But for finsta, it’s about showing who you truly are to those who matter.

This is why social media irks me. We’re so disillusioned by the shiny magazine-like quality of filters, contouring every aspect of our lives to carve out our own aesthetically pleasing brand. We don’t even realize we’re hiding our true identities behind it.

Don’t make a second account.. You do you — make your first account authentic and don’t worry about what other people think.

At the end of the day, we’re all weird.


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