Have you ever gone to post something on Instagram but had second thoughts? Maybe because you’ve seen your best friends’ latest selfies or that celeb you love’s holiday snaps and worried that your hastily-snapped photo of your favourite old trainers doesn’t quite live up to them? Or maybe it’s because what you actually want to post is something about how scared and alone you feel at the moment, but you don’t think it’ll fit among all the happy, shiny photos on your feed. Or maybe you want you friends to know that you’re feeling crappy but not necessarily the whole world, y’know? You just might not want to share everything with everyone.
You, my friend, need a finstagram.
A finstagram is a second, locked Instagram account that you only let your close friends see. It’s like those alt Twitter accounts that everyone was making a few months ago; it gives you all the fun of the platform without any of the pressure that comes with having the world and their incredibly photogenic pets (seriously, when did everyone get a French bulldog or a floppy-eared spaniel?!) snooping on what you’re doing. People use them for funny screenshots of WhatsApps, ugly selfies, outfits they aren’t sure about, stuff that they care about that’s not ‘polished’ enough for Instagram, or even posts about how sad or stressed they are. Basically, anything that you don’t want on your public account because those are generally used for fun things, cool things and, let’s be honest, showing off a bit.
me on my main vs me on my alt pic.twitter.com/dcTjEXvrow
— Sam 💣🎉 (@Aliensqueakytoy) August 25, 2016
So what do we think of finstas? A lot of people are freaking out about them. They say it’s really bad that we are so obsessed with having a perfect persona that we put anything flawed on a secret account, and that they’re proof we’re all going to hell in a vain, self-obsessed handcart. And yeah, there are serious issues around the pressure people are feeling because of social media that need to be addressed, and no-one should be made to feel lesser-than because of the things they see online.
main vs. alt account pic.twitter.com/c3TrT9CG4k
— Dan Douglas (@dandouglas) June 24, 2017
But also, I kind of love finstagrams. I love places that people can go to bitch and moan and be silly and test things out before they unleash them on the real world. I certainly don’t think that the existence of a finstagram makes a public Instagram account less “real”. It’s basically you at the end of year party vs you at a sleepover with your girls; there are some things you just don’t share with people who aren’t your BFFs.
People contain multitudes. Sometimes you’re the showy, glossy, perfect person that’d be on an Instagram account, and sometimes you’re a weepy mess with ice-cream stains down your t-shirt and deely boppers on, and that’s okay. I think it’s naive to assume that anyone is their true, authentic, 100% flawed self all the time, whether that’s online or in real life. Surely it’s better to have a place online to be that hot mess than it is to have nowhere online where you can exist without bringing your shiniest A-game?
me on regular instagram vs. me on my finstagram pic.twitter.com/aqsZzysjbD
— ⱭℒℳⱭ☽✨ (@dracula_pants) March 22, 2016
If you want to get a finstagram, go right ahead. It can be a good place to express yourself in a world where sometimes it feels like no-one can be less than the 100 emoji all the time. Just remember that the you on your finstagram is as worthwhile as the you on your public profile, and you’ll be fine.