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Dec 04 2016
by Stacy Andryshak

8 College Students on 'Secret' Instagrams

By Stacy Andryshak - Dec 04 2016
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Over the past few months, the unprecedented use of second Instagrams has skyrocketed. Called "Finstas" (fake Instas)  or "Sinstas" (secret Instas), these second accounts are often much less promoted than one's primary Instagram. A Rinsta (real Instagram -— I only really hear that term used when someone is actively comparing their primary account with their Finsta) is where people want to get as many followers as possible and post only their best pictures. In contrast, Finstas are usually only shown to close friends, and pictures include that which one definitely wouldn't want a casual acquaintance to see. Keep reading for eight college students' input on their own personal Finsta use.

1. It lets you be real.

"Well, I originally started my Finsta as a way to post things that were way too inappropriate or mean for my Rinsta. I only had 4 followers, so I really could just post whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Like, I went through a phase of just posting pics of my butt as a joke and it didn't matter because only my best friends could see it. Finsta was basically a group message that didn't ask for a response. One of my best friends who went to a bigger school told me that they were going to be the next big thing (which she was very right about) so I just jumped on the band wagon because it sounded like a new goofy way to show your best friends what was going on with you. I love Finsta but now I have more followers on it so I had to tone down the content a bit. Now I use it as more of a portrayal of the real me than my Rinsta for people I am actually friends with rather than random followers." — Ally S., Syracuse University

2. Great for venting.

"I think Finstas are to vent about what I'm stressed about and to share what I find funny with my friends. And because it's a Finsta, I don't really have to worry about what other people think. I can say kind of whatever I want without worrying if people will judge me because, for me, only my really close friends follow my Finsta." — Tiffany S., University of Connecticut

3. Ugly selfies found here.

"For me, my Finsta is the place I post all my ugly selfies that make me laugh. I take a lot of shitty pictures of myself but have the self preservation to not post them somewhere that is widely shared. Finsta is perfect to have an archive of my favorites and to let all my close friends see what dumb stuff I'm doing now." — Emily H., Northeastern University
Amanda S. 

4. Maybe a little redundant.

"I have a Finsta, but for me it just seems kind of redundant. I don't really have any boundaries so it doesn't matter if I put more personal or stupid pictures on my Rinsta versus my Finsta. I made one in the first place because so many of my friends have them, and I do use it to post screenshots and things that would mess up the theme of my Rinsta. But, in general, I don't think it's something that everyone needs." — Amanda S., Northeastern University

5. For those who are close.

"Some of the stuff I do is pretty stupid and I don't want family to see it. I only follow certain people that know me well, where as on my Rinsta I follow a wider range of people. It's also just kind of an account to have a record of all the stupid shit I do and want to let my friends know, and to share my thoughts. Finsta shows an uglier and messier version of myself, AKA my real self." — Chelsea D., Iona College

6. A record of life.

"I had a collab account with two other people before but I was the only one who posted anything. I think I'm a funny person and I wanted to post my feelings and the events that happened to me on a Finsta of my own. Also, a lot of my close friends from back home have Finstas so in a way I feel like we're still all connected and up to date with each other." — Harumi J., Northeastern University

7. It can be freeing.

"It is freeing. You can vent, rant, complain, and get excited about anything you want and nobody will judge you because it's only your friends." — Katelynn H., Three Rivers Community College

8. Private things are good things.

"I originally made a Finsta to keep in contact with my close high school friends when I went away to college. I just followed a select few people and would periodically post updates on my life for them to see. The best thing about Finstas is that the pictures don't have to be good quality or even all that interesting, because it's just a private thing for you and your close friends. My captions are also usually really long because I like to vent somewhere where my friends can be aware of it but where they also don't have to reply, or even read something that long if they don't want to. It's very chill." — Mark A., Boston University

Most of these statements imply that Finstas are a trend that aren't going away very soon. More permanent than a simple Snapchat and less personal than a text, Finstas enable photo sharing among close friends without warranting a reply, or even a like. The pressures of "normal" Instagram don't apply, as followers and likes are not a concern for Finstas. Just putting something that you wouldn't post anywhere else out there for your friends to see seems satisfying enough for Finsta users — and many say that it is freeing to be able to post on social media without caring about popularity. 

Do you have a Finsta? How do you feel about them? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Stacy Andryshak - Northeastern University

Stacy is a freshman pursuing a combined major in Communication Studies and Media & Screen Studies at Northeastern University. In high school, she spent most of her free time acting in dramas and musicals. She enjoys obscure vegan restaurants, British soap operas, and her pet rabbit. Find her on: Instagram @stacy.a / Twitter @standryn

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