Trending: The rise of “finstas”

A recent trend of fake Instagrams, or “finstas,” has swept throughout the BVNW community. Three students talk about their finstas, how they use them and what they have seen from other students with finstas.

Gabe Swartz, Staff Writer

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With an increased presence in social media monitoring from colleges and scrutiny from peers, students have started a new trend of creating fake Instagrams – called “finstas” – to post their random and goofy photos which would not be shared on their public Instagram account. A typical finsta username is a pun of sorts, or with a group finsta a combination of users’ names. Using the private setting also offers a sense of security for students to post what they want freely.

A post from junior Karlie Hoffmeister's finsta.

A post from junior Karlie Hoffmeister’s finsta.

Junior Karlie Hoffmeister created her finsta last May, but said finstas have become more popular in the last couple months. Hoffmeister said finstas offer an outlet to post photos without having to worry about how many likes the post will get.

“You can post pictures that don’t have as much importance…so it’s kind of like a way to share your dumb pictures,” Hoffmeister said. “I think a lot of people try to establish some look for themselves on their normal one when they post certain pictures, and then on their finstas they do the opposite; they [post] what they actually want to post.”

Senior Demetra Arvanitakis said that having followers on her regular Instagram who she did not know very well and did not want to see her more personal posts enticed her to create a finsta. Arvanitakis said having a private finsta allows her to post more personal things, because she only allows people she trusts to follow her.

“I [felt] weird posting pictures about my dog and stupid little things that nobody really cares to see but me,” Arvanitakis said, “but it’s fun for me to write [a mini journal], so I just made it for myself.”

Senior Emily Ball's finsta post from her shared account with Peter Hartman and Surabhi Khachar.

Senior Emily Ball’s finsta post from her shared account with Peter Hartman and Surabhi Khachar.

Senior Emily Ball created a group finsta with seniors Peter Hartman and Surabhi Khachar after seeing other people using their finstas during lunch one day. Ball said she, Hartman and Khachar use their finsta to connect with each other and share their similar senses of humor.

“Anyone can post at anytime, and usually if something funny happens or if one of us notices something funny going on, then we’ll take a picture and come up with a comment,” Ball said.

Ball said she is less selective in her choices of what she posts on their group finsta compared to her regular Instagram account.

“Personally, my regular Instagram is more like bigger events, and I guess the finstas are just [pictures that are] more fun to post on from a day-to-day basis and more for just light-hearted fun,” Ball said.

Senior Mallorie McBride does not have a finsta, nor does she plan to get one, despite having friends with finstas. McBride said she still follows some finstas just to see what the accounts are about.

“I wouldn’t say that I dislike finstas, I just don’t necessarily see the point in them,” McBride said. “All you are posting pictures of are like you drinking or doing stupid stuff. Why would you want to post this you’re just asking to get in trouble?”

Senior Demetra Arvanitakis' finsta post.

Senior Demetra Arvanitakis’ finsta post.

Hoffmeister and Arvanitakis both said finstas are very popular right now, but they both do not foresee the popularity lasting very long after this school year.

“People already don’t post as much as they used to and people are going to realize that it’s not as safe as they once thought,” Hoffmeister said.

Despite not posting anything inappropriate on her finsta, Arvanitakis said she still wouldn’t want people she does not know well to see her posts.

Hoffmeister said she would not care who saw her account, but she knows people like her parents would not understand the purpose of having a finsta.

“I don’t think I would be scared for anyone to see [my finsta], but I feel like a lot of people, like my mom, just wouldn’t get it,” Hoffmeister said. “They wouldn’t understand the reasoning behind it; my mom would be like, ‘why are you doing that, that’s not necessary.’ But there is nothing that I would be embarrassed to show anybody.”