“Finstas” allow for self-expression, but create a new platform for cyberbullying


Creative Commons photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Instagram

Instagram allows users to have more than one account, leading to the trend of ‘finstas.’ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Rebecca Heath

Failed selfies or embarrassing stories won’t be found on a normal Instagram account. Instead, teens have turned to ‘finstas’ to post the truest content about themselves.

The name finstagram, commonly shortened to “finsta,” comes from the combination of “fake” and “Instagram.” According to HubSpot, a finsta is a private Instagram account popular among teens and young adults with the purpose of documenting candid posts to share with close friends. These accounts differ from “rinstas,” or real Instagrams, which are accounts used to represent an “ideal” life to a larger quantity of followers.

Although the concept of a finsta may seem harmless, some criticize them for hurting teens’ self-esteem by promoting bullying. According to the Huffington Post, finstas are a conduit for cyberbullying, in some cases anonymously, and encourage social drama by acting as a convenient platform to spread gossip. In some cases, finstas are made specifically to impersonate a victim and upload content to destroy their reputation.

Sophomore Abi Cohen of Marlboro said that overall, finstas are a positive aspect of Instagram, but they do induce bullying in some ways.

“Sometimes it’s hard to always keep in touch with friends, but through finstas, we still stay updated on each other’s lives,” Cohen said. “However, finstas definitely do support bullying, but only in a minor way.”

For many teenagers, finstas act as a way to relieve the pressure of public perception and showcase their more vulnerable side to close friends.

“As someone who is afraid of being judged harshly on my rinsta, I use my finsta to show my true self. I think finstas are great because they allow me to form a closer bond with friends. On your finsta, you can post about the good and the bad of your life with no consequences,” a CHS student who wished to remain anonymous said.

With social media, there is always a risk of cyberbullying. While finstas sometimes provide a platform for bullying, they also allow users to document their life unfiltered, shared only with trusted friends. Although some are opposed to this Instagram trend, finstas do not seem to be dying down anytime soon.