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Why Your Teen Having a 'Finsta' Should be Celebrated, Not Worried Over

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As a parent, you may have heard other parents or teens talking about 'Finsta' accounts. Well in this quick guide, we explain what they are and why they should be celebrated and not worried over.

What is a 'Finsta' Account?

Heard of Instagram? Of course you have. Well its a Fake-Instagram account. Fake-Instagram. Finstagram. Finsta!

They are secondary Instagram accounts where teens post different content to their main profile to a slightly more close social group.

My Teen Has a Finsta, Should I Be Worried?

Now, I can almost hear you shout..."Fake"?! This is awful. We must ban our children from creating these secondary 'fake' accounts.

This wouldn't be prudent, let me explain.

Instagram is a social media site where people post their 'best life'. There is an invisible pressure to post an extremely polished view of your life, demonstrating beauty, wealth and consumerism.

Conforming to these unrealistic and unobtainable stereotypes through the images that you post can be exhausting and disheartening, as it feels disingenuous. Fake.

Which is ironic because it is this fake lifestyle posted on real Instagram that has driven many to create secondary Instagram accounts, called Finsta accounts.

As noted in the NY Times article “On Fake Instagram, a Chance to Be Real”, “the real Instagram accounts are their fake selves, and the fake accounts are their real selves”. Much like this;

So actually, those who have Instagram accounts to share their unpolished, silly and candid photos and videos are doing so to share their real selves which can only be good for their self-esteem and mental health, rather than feeling forced to portray a polished persona all the time.

The Independent writer Moya Lothian-McLean perfectly summed up her Finsta experience with "For me, the finsta account is just a safe space online where I can breathe".

It also shows that the Finsta creates (often teenagers) have a good understanding of what types of content should be available to what types of audiences online. This is evidence of good digital critical thinking.

Therefore we feel these kinds of accounts should be celebrated and not received with suspicion or worry.

The Exception...

The exception to this is where a teen has specifically created a secondary Instagram account purely to hide it from their parents. They might do this because they want to share provocative images or contact people they know their parents would disagree with.

How Do You Know If Your Teen Has a Finsta Account?

1. Simply ask if they have one!

2. If you have reason to believe they have created one purely for the purposes of hiding things from you, you might ask to see their Instagram account with them.

Instagram enables the ability to switch back and forth between accounts. There will be a little down arrow/chevron (as illustrated below) next to their profile username which once pressed will show a second account if there is one.

Questions?

As always, if you have any questions or concerns just fire them straight into our member forum here and one of our internet safety experts will be happy to help out!

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