Have you ever heard of a Finstagram?

Photo by biglike/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by biglike/iStock / Getty Images

Finstagrams are “private” Instagrams meant only for your closest friends. Many kids just refer to them as their private Instagram account. Here’s the definition from the Urban Dictionary:

“Finstagram, finsta for short, is a mixture of Fake & Instagram. People, usually girls, get a second Instagram account along with their real instagrams, rinstagrams, to post any pictures or videos they desire. The photos or videos posted are usually funny
or embarrassing. Only your closest friends follow this account."

Teens create Finstagrams to have a place where they can be themselves with only their “closest” friends. I talked to a 13-year old named Maya who has two accounts, as do most of her friends. Her Finstagram account has 70 friends while her main “public” account has 800. Maya’s Finsta-friends are people she may regularly hang out with at school or on weekends. Her regular account is not truly public in that she has to accept each person. She says she only accepts people that she knows are at least friends of friends.

Maya only has about a dozen pictures on her regular account, posting maybe once a month. According to her, the types of pictures she puts up have to be “really good.” Every picture is not necessarily a selfie, but each photo is a “beautiful” or artsy shot, whether it is a sunset or a picture of herself that she feels confident people will like. On the other hand, she posts pictures to her Finstagram page every other day. These can be silly shots, or moments that she wants to share with her closest friends. These people on her regular account “get” her and she says she doesn’t feel judged by them so she’s willing to put up many more pictures.  She also uses her Finstagram page to communicate to the wider group things like  meeting up to hang out downtown.  Maya says communicating via Instagram versus group text is easier when you don’t want to get notified over and over, and go back and forth with people.

Ahhh… the intricate life of a teen.

So, today for Tech Talk Tuesday lets talk about private vs public accounts:

  • Do you have a Finstagram?  If so, who do you let in as a friend? 
  • How often do you post on Instagram and to which account?
  • How do you choose between accounts to post pictures?
  • If you don’t use Instagram, why doesn't it appeal to you?
  • How about all your other social media sites, i.e. Facebook, Snapchat, social video games, how do you choose who to be friends with and what you post?
  • For you adults, who mostly use Facebook and Linkedin, share with the kids how you choose who to accept as a friend, and what kinds of things you post.