Bending to a puppeteer
High standards of social media lead some teens to create ‘finsta’ in addition to ‘rinsta’
BY MOLLY KYLES & COLTON JOHNSON
She is graceful, dancing on light feet with confidence. Click. She is beautiful, every girl’s dream image. Click. She is effortless, happy, but her movements are not her own. They are manipulated, forced upon her by a masterful puppeteer, done only to please a stubborn audience–to please the world.
Invisible strings are attached to every camera’s click, composing a story on the screen. The strings direct glistening smiles, flawless makeup and countless filters to make a picturesque profile of a perfect person. But once detached from the strings, there is a story less heard. One of smeared makeup and tough breakups, failed tests and bad days; one that demands an audience.
For many students, this relief from the tyrannical on-screen pressure comes in the form of a “finsta,” or fake Instagram, made in addition to one’s real Instagram account.
“It’s a place where I know I can post as much as I want and post whatever I want,” senior Channing Miller said. “Only the people that I want to see [my posts] will be able to.”
Finsta posts have no limitations. They are not constricted by the taut, oppressive wires which regulate the feeds on their accounts they broadcast to the public. Finsta posts may range from memes to memories, depression to dog pictures, but ultimately finstas are a place for students to be free from normal, unsaid, but understood online restrictions.
“The basic rules and regulations of Instagram are: post only happy or positive things like you and your friends, or you if you accomplished something or the dress up days at school,” Miller said. “Don’t post, ‘I’ve had a bad day.’ Don’t let people see there’s a bottom side to you that’s not-so-great.”
Main Instagram accounts, or “rinstas,” are regulated by these unspoken rules that filter their posts and control their decisions like a puppeteer with a marionette.
“Real instagram is kind of like the Photoshop of my life,” senior Brennon Cope said. “It’s mostly snapshots of really good moments. Finsta takes it a step further because not only could it be the really good moments, like starting a new relationship, but it could also be the really sad moments, like a break up, or angry moments, like failing a test that you need to get off your chest.”
These communities sometimes act as a support group of sorts to students.
“It’s more of a myself thing. I don’t really care if other people see it. It never actually occurs to me that other people see it,” Cope said. “I just kind of feel like if I say it out loud and it’s recognized by at least one person, then it’s a load off of me. It lets me get it off my chest. I don’t want to spam my real Instagram with all that nonsense I have.”
However, while it may seem beneficial to adolescents to use these private accounts as an outlet for emotion, they often times may not truly consider the aftermath of their venting. It is easy to cross boundaries when there seem to be none regulating one’s actions.
“Social media allows teens to put very personal information out to masses of people about themselves or about others that should remain private,” licensed professional therapist Jennifer Aslin said. “I think a lot of teens and even adults are no longer good judges of what should be public information and what should be private information.”
FINSTA VS RINSTA PHOTOS