The Secret Life

Students have started second instagram accounts in order to post things they wouldn’t otherwise make known, but why?

  Sometimes, talking to faceless people on the internet is the best way to share your problems. Many teenagers have an instagram account dedicated to doing exactly this. They call it a finsta.

   A fake instagram account (finsta) isn’t an account on a different media site made to look like an instagram. It’s an account on instagram that’s hidden from a main grouping of followers, with only a select few chosen to bear witness to the person behind the facade of fun activities and perfectly staged pictures.

   “It’s cool because you can post things on instagram but there’s not the pressure of a main account,” junior Elizabeth Armentrout said. “[The pressure of] having [your main account] look aesthetically pleasing [isn’t there]. [With a finsta], you can just post whatever, and be real.”

   People have a mixed opinion on finstas. Some people have one and actively use it. Some have one just to fit the trend. Others hate the idea of having a finsta account. Junior Mia Parise, who thinks finstas are unnecessary, has a good grasp on the difference between a main instagram account and a fake one.

An example of a finsta.

   “Basically, a main account people post what they want everyone to think their life’s about,” Parise said. “On a finsta, they post what they want to complain to their friends about.”

   A main account is commonly called a rinsta (real instagram) as a companion to the slang for the fake one. As you decide what account you’re going to post your pictures on, you have to think of the content, and where it’s appropriate.

   “My finsta posts are just about how I’m feeling, or what’s going on in my life,” Armentrout said. “My rinsta posts are more just like the highlights.”

   On a finsta, people tend to post about things that have happened to them, or pictures that they don’t deem worthy of the public eye seeing. Some do polls, or tags about themselves to share more with the select people who follow them.

   “I don’t like them ‘cause they don’t really serve a beneficial purpose for anything other than for people to complain on,” Parise said.

   Many people do use them to complain to no one, hoping that someone will see the post and like or comment on it in solidarity. Junior Mason Palmiere has a similar opinion, despite having an account himself.

   “I know I have one, but I think they’re dumb,” Palmiere said

   He, like many others, has an account just because people he knew had one.

   “My friend has one, and my sister has one,” Palmiere said. “So [I said] you know what, I want to complain about stuff and no one’s going to listen to me. I’ll just post pointless stuff, and post it on there.”

   Many people use social media to complain about their life circumstances; however, it’s not always on a finsta account. Social media is the fastest way to share your experiences with the public, so why not use it to complain about the annoying person who interacted with you on the street today?


“They can be good if that person doesn’t really have anyone to talk about their problems, and wants to vent to whoever their followers are on their finsta. But they can also do that on other platforms, or just text people or make friends. [They could] actually go out and talk to people”

— Mia Parise

   “I feel like people do the same exact thing on twitter often, and I feel like there’s not really a reason to have another instagram where you do that,” Parise said. “If you don’t want to post something on your regular instagram, why are you going to post it anyway to a different account?”

   People seem to post about their issues more on social media for the whole world to see instead of talking to friends about the problem. Talking about your life to an unknown audience seems a much more daunting task than just talking to your friends about it.

   “I don’t really know [why I talk about things on my finsta],” Armentrout said. “It’s just kind of been instinctive [to talk to people online]. I think the finsta, it feels like a safe place, even though it probably isn’t.”

   By talking online instead of in person, many people know all of the things that happen in life, even if it’s not stated directly to them. However, more people see the heavily filtered version of life that’s posted to a main account, with significantly more followers than the private finsta.

   “I think it’s about how they want people to think of them,” Parise said. “On their main account, they’ll post what they want everyone to see, but on their finsta, they’ll post about stuff they probably verbally communicate to their friends too.”

   Some posts are more personal than others, which could seem weird sharing to an audience that can’t be seen.

   “I don’t really post it for them,” Palmiere said. “I just post it so I have a place to complain to.”


“Now, it’s more real and you realize that everybody has problems and stuff. You’re not comparing yourself to others in the same way”

— Elizabeth Armentrout, ’20

   The art of complaining is a fine one. Being able to make it vague enough that no one will know who it’s about in case they’ll tell someone else, but give enough information to fully get the emotions across and gain people’s sympathy is how a finsta post is designed.

   “They can be good if that person doesn’t really have anyone to talk to about their problems, and wants to vent to whoever their followers are on their finsta,” Parise said. “But they can also do that on other platforms, or just text people or make friends. [They could] actually go out and talk to people,”

   Whether the finsta account is a necessary part of the daily routine or an occasional occurrence, it can be a benefit for everyone. By posting about the everyday life events, the internet isn’t just a place to broadcast the best version of you.

   “Before, it was just all fake, and you had to live up to those standards,” Armentrout said. “Now, it’s more real and you realize that everybody has problems and stuff. You’re not comparingyourself to others in the same way.”

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