March 12, 2017

Finstas: The Realm of Fake Reality

Nina Robins ‘19

A ratio of fewer than 100 followers to more than 200 posts may seem peculiar to a seasoned Instagram user. However, “fake” Instagram accounts, dubbed “finstas,” are far from the conventional Instagram profile.
These standard accounts, called “rinstas,” often feature carefully curated landscapes and staged portraits in order to make users’ lives seem as ideal as possible. Likewise, the same filters that are used to remove blemishes from pictures add layers of deceit.
“On finstas, I think people are more real,” sophomore Emily Berger said. “I think these accounts expose the truth of an individual’s life.”
Finstas, which feature screenshots of text conversations and candids, certainly appear to be raw in contrast to tailored rinstas. Often, finsta users find that they are better able to express themselves in this casual environment than on their rinstas, on which they often experience pressure to conform to a certain mold.
“On finstas, you don’t have any borders and you can post what you want,” sophomore Amanda Nadel said.
In addition, finstas are very appealing because many people can easily empathize with their content.
“Most of the time, people support you on your finsta because they know it’s you and your life,” sophomore Amanda Feldman said. “They also have the same issues as you.”
Sophomore Shana Slater elaborated.
“I like hearing people complain about things I can relate to,” she said.
As much as finstas are used as outlets to convey users’ real feelings, sometimes emotional confessions are perceived as cries for attention.
“I really don’t like when people post pictures of themselves crying. At the beginning I felt very bad for them, but after a while the posts lost a lot of their impact,” Feldman said. Sometimes, when users are visibly upset on their finstas, they attract inquiry from their friends but shut them out regardless – much to the friends’ dismay.
“Don’t be so closed off about it,” Nadel said. “It’s a community where we all care.”
Still others believe that finsta users often exploit their opportunities to vent to a broad audience and only use their accounts to discuss the negativity in their lives.
“It's a culture of complaining,” junior Dina Doctoroff said. “Everyone with a finsta just complains about their lives and it’s not productive.”
Regardless of specific incidents of pleas for attention, the general atmosphere of finstas is very lighthearted. Whether through dramatic rants or silly pictures, the main purpose of a finsta is to entertain.

“Everything is just to make you laugh, because we’re all going through the same thing as teenagers in 2017,” Feldman said. “Everything’s a joke on a finsta.”


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