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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Fake Instagram profiles often show users’ real side

Photo by via Pixabay
“Finstas,” or fake Instagram accounts have grown in popularity over the last few years.

A secret in the social media world hides within the depths of Instagram, where users have created fake instagram profiles, or “Finstas,” that only their closest friends are allowed to follow. Finstas are different from users’ real Instagrams, or “Rinstas,” which are followed by the user’s majority of friends and acquaintances.

Yet according to Gee Ekachai, an associate professor in the College of Communication, the renowned Finsta is not what it seems.

“What I find ironic is the name finsta, short for ‘Fake instagram,’ is just the opposite of what it is used for by young Instagram users,” Ekachai said. “(Users have) created a private or secret account so they can post pictures that are more natural, or more “real,” that they can share with an exclusive group of friends.”

The material on these Finstas can range from pictures at parties, thoughts about other people, funny experiences throughout the day and more. Yet, no matter the post, Finstas are commonly more revealing about their user, displaying a more vulnerable side that their more put together, glamorous rinsta does not reveal.

“I don’t have a Finsta, but I think the point is to kind of have a profile where your guard is completely down, and you don’t care about the judgement,” Nicole Tlachac, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said.

Though Tlachac doesn’t have a Finsta, she said she understands why other people would want to have one. A big reason, she said, is to post more “scandalous” material they wouldn’t want employers to see upon searching their name, allowing for a concealed outlet of expression.

“I think a lot of them are hilarious, but also full of stuff you wouldn’t want an employer or family member to see,” Tlachac said. “I get why they are private.”

Another reason Finstas have risen in prominence, Ekachai said, is for their allowance of a user to escape the pressure to look perfect on Instagram. Finstas, Ekachai said, give a perfect release for one to be themselves.

“(Users) don’t have to look perfect or show their public followers what a happy life they have,” Ekachai said. Finstas are a way, she said, for users to fight against the pressure to appear perfect that exists on real Instagram profiles.

“I think it’s great that (users) have a choice to express themselves the way they really are, feel or think,” Ekachai said. “It’s good for them to be themselves instead of having to be fake in the real Instagram.”

While often created as a needed outlet, some students choose to make and delete Finstas as simply a casual hobby. Ksymena Kwasnik, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, often operates a Finsta profile along with her real Instagram, but occasionally finds herself deleting it for various reasons.

“I had a Finsta recently, but I actually deleted it yesterday,” Kwasnik said. “I just do not feel the need to have one at the moment.”

Whether casual and totally deletable or more personal and closely linked to one’s true life, Finstas serve many purposes that are often overlooked by the general public. Yet, as experts like Ekachai point out, there’s more to fake Instagram profiles than meet the eye – with these secret Finstas perhaps being the realest accounts on the web.

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