Secondary Instagram accounts, also known as Finstas, have experienced a big boom among tweens, teens and some adults. These accounts bring some levity and genuineness to social media, allowing people to whine about their lives and process their problems in a way that’s social but also less subject to criticism. Finstas are like friend groups, or virtual journals, with accounts having around 10 or 15 followers on average.
Finstas have become such a big deal that they’ve become a point of contention between couples or people who are starting to date. An article from Mashable explains that finstas are a good place to vent about the complications on your romantic life, including those awkward dates or strange Tinder interactions. Having someone you like following you can screw up that balance.
Mashable interviewed different people with finstas, finding that most of them prefer to keep their accounts to themselves even when they’re dating someone.
“If there’s life news or drama I’m posting about, he’s usually the first to hear about it anyway,” says Caroline Long. “And I’ve had my finsta for a while so there’s some old, old posts about former boyfriends and issues that I’m sure wouldn’t be fun for him to peruse.”
There’s nothing wrong with having a digital space of your own, even if it’s on Instagram. The tough part is explaining what a finsta is and why you’d want to keep it private. Julie Spira, online dating expert, believes that it’s okay for couples to have a virtual space of their own.
“When you’re in a relationship, there are always things that you share with your close friends that you just might not share with your partner,” she explains.
Finstas are new and hard to understand. The account is not a friend group but it’s also not a part of social media, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. Social media apps keep finding new ways of bringing us together, giving us new tools of self expression. Sadly, there’s still no way of getting rid of the anxiety that they produce.