There is no doubt that Megan McGrory, an economics major at Lang, had an amazing time in The Hamptons. You can tell by the perfectly-edited selfies of her kicking back and relaxing, featured on her public Instagram.
However, on Megan’s private Instagram, which only a select few have access to, she can be seen posting ridiculous pictures of her cats and photos of all her favorite junk food. Her posts on this Instagram account are definitely less than perfect and much more random.
While there may be no better feeling than watching the “likes” come rolling in after posting a cropped, edited, and angled selfie on Instagram, not every picture we take is glamorous. Nowadays, people like McGrory have been relying on their “finstas” to post these not-so-Instagram worthy pics.
A Finstagram, or fake Instagram, commonly referred to as a “finsta,” is a second Instagram account where people post anything about their lives for a smaller audience. A finsta is a home for blurry selfies, screenshots, memes, and drunk videos people would prefer not to keep on their camera rolls. The accounts have quickly gained popularity, and many NewSchoolers are on board with this trend.
“I prefer my regular Instagram account because I’ve worked on maintaining my aesthetic and making sure all of my pictures go together nicely, but a finsta is still fun. Not everything needs to be put out there for everyone to know, so when you have a secret account that only your friends know about, it becomes this fun, little world away from trying hard to look good,” said McGrory.
“People manage their appearances in the world by being different people within different contexts,” said Ken Wark, the Chair of Culture and Media at Eugene Lang College. “It’s hard to have a social media profile where friends, family, lovers and co-workers are all supposed to be experiencing the same ‘you.’ One solution is carve out separate selves for restricted audiences,”
“The purpose is to create a more down-to-earth and non-curated feed. A finsta should document silly moments in your life and feelings or rants that you would not post on your main Instagram,” said Yu Ling Wu, a third year BA/BFA student.
“My personal finsta is pretty ridiculous,” Wu said. “I only post pictures when I make trips to Duane Reade. I think the purpose for me is to have fun and show my personality and sense of humor in a way that I know the people I allow to see my feed will understand and appreciate.”
“I like that people aren’t as real on their main Instagrams because I don’t care to know intimate details about everyone’s life, just my closest friends,” said Bryan Bedolla, a freshman at Lang studying Journalism and Design who recently created a finsta.
Since the purpose of a regular Instagram account is often to portray an ideal image of oneself, this inevitably comes with a set of restrictions and limitations. Because of this, the purpose of a finsta may be to share the truest version of yourself.
However, Ken Wark noted that “everybody mis-recognizes themselves” when asked why people use social media. “We have no idea who we really are. Social media is an interesting way to experimentally find out what or who we are not through the feedback of others.”
“It’s like a bunch of blind people slapping each other in the face,” he continued.
If users rely on the majority of their social media as a place to find out about themselves out, then finstas are a safe space for people to decompress and post what feels comfortable.
Reuben Wilson, a junior at Lang majoring in Theater and Minoring in Psychology said, “I really like the idea of a finsta. I don’t believe that having one makes you less real on your regular Instagram. I think it is showcasing another side that you may not want to make public, which in my opinion is still very real.”
Header by Ching Lan