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Let’s talk about Finsta. That’s right, we know about it. The account where you post all of the selfies that weren’t cute enough for your real Instagram. The account where you vent about your man that isn’t your man. We know.

Fake Instagrams, or “Finstas,” broadcast a different side of Instagram users. On Finsta, people are willing to share more about their thoughts, looks and lives. In other words, Finstas are used to post anything that people are not comfortable posting on their real Instagram accounts.

I do not have a Finsta account, nor do I plan on making one. However, some of my friends have been generous enough to show me what they post on their Finstas anyway. From my brief glances, I’ve concluded that every Finsta isn’t bad. In fact, the stuff on my friends’ Finstas is hilarious.

 

 It’s only when Finsta is abused that I start to have an issue. People with Finstas typically only allow other Finsta accounts to follow them. This way, the Finsta environment remains its own secluded world, and only people with Finsta accounts have access to the information that is posted on these pages. Ideally, what happens on Finsta, stays on Finsta, but this isn’t always the case. With that being said, Finsta has the potential to completely backfire if used inappropriately.

It becomes a problem when people use their Finsta's to bash or humiliate people, knowing that they wouldn’t dare do that on their real Instagram accounts. Since Finsta is supposed to be a gated community, people assume that they can really post anything, even false or embarrassing posts about other people because they think the person will never find out about it.

The boldness that comes with feeling anonymous, or assuming the person won’t find out what you’re posting is not something unheard of, especially in our generation. Let’s not forget the Ask.fm and CuriousCat days.

Yet, the same audacity amuses me every time it makes an appearance on a new social network. It will never fail to amaze me how bold people can be behind a phone screen.

 

When it comes to Finsta, I get it; you’re supposed to post things on a Finsta that you wouldn’t typically post on Instagram. But does that mean you have to embarrass or slander anyone in the process?

I’m all for posting your thoughts about how hard this semester was, or even that selfie you took before you brushed your teeth; but what I don’t understand is why anyone would say anything negative about someone on social media that they wouldn’t say directly to them? Why hide behind a Finsta account? Why use your Finsta to talk about someone else? Most importantly, why invite an irrelevant audience into your drama?

The principle behind not just Finsta, but social media overall, is a simple one--one that we learned in elementary school, and one that will continue to be reinforced: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Be mindful of this when posting on all social media platforms, not just Finsta. Finsta may be its own little world, but it can easily cause unnecessary drama in the real world.

 

Ayanna Maxwell

Hampton U '20

Ayanna Maxwell is a graduating senior, strategic communications major at Hampton University. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Ayanna chose to attend Hampton because she admired the HBCU experience. A proud Virgo, she shares a birthday with her favorite singer, Beyonce (September 4th). Ayanna is also a Spring 2018 initiate into the Gamma Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
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