Teens Find New Way to Embrace Imperfections on Social Media
Instagram is one of the leading social media tools used throughout the world. Typical users turn to Instagram for advertising their businesses, publishing their personal lives and sharing intellectual posts. However, the trend has changed. It is becoming increasingly popular for Pace students to create a personal “finsta.” A finsta is a fake Instagram used to post embarrassing pictures that would otherwise be inappropriate or exposing on a normal Instagram account.
“It is so much more entertaining to have a finsta, because I can post hilarious pictures and videos of me and my friends that I would never post on my real account,” said sophomore Madeline Janki. “I love looking at others’ finstas, because they are so entertaining, and it allows us to just be ourselves and show our sense of humor.”
Even though Pace finstas are most widely used by girls, many guys also enjoy it. For example, sophomores Patrick Thurman and Brogan Smith share a finsta named “trick and brick,” combining their two names. The most common way of creating a personal finsta name is by taking first names and finding a interesting way to fit it into a word, common phrase or an acronym. For example, sophomore Devan Johnson’s username is “pgmoohiahtsm.”The meaning of this name, which is an acronym, is a mystery to everyone in the high school, and she claims she will not tell anyone the meaning “until she is lying on her deathbed.”
The difference between an Instagram and a finsta, besides the difference in content, is the effects it has on a teenager’s state of mind. For example, Instagram is always fun, but it can cause self-esteem issues in young teens because of the unrealistic happiness that is prevalent in so many pictures. Users look at the perfect pictures and moments in a post, and sometimes immediately begin to wonder why their lives are not as extraordinary.
A finsta on the other hand, despite its name, is anything but fake. Finstas provide a real look into a friend’s life that you could not get on any other social media site. It allows the kids at Pace to control who follows them, and it shows their followers a unique outlook on their life. It enables people to hide their imperfections, while also embracing them.
“I feel like I’ve gotten to make new assumptions about my friends through their finstas,” said junior Khaki Loughran. “I love how it doesn’t just show the perfect pictures that took hours to take and edit, but it shows the real lives of a Pace teenager. I end up spending more time looking at the people I follow on my finsta than my real Instagram feed.”