Sometimes there is content that teens want to share with their closest friends, but they don’t necessarily want to share it with them all individually. This had led to the invention of the finsta. While this type of profile can be made on any social media platform, it started on Instagram which is where it got its name.
A finsta is a fake Instagram account that is used mainly for posting things that wouldn’t be deemed appropriate or aesthetically pleasing if posted on a main account. A lot of times these accounts only have a few followers, because the content being posted isn’t supposed to be shared with others.
You could think of a finsta as almost a public diary where teens and young adults rant and post whatever they want without thinking about the consequences. Yet, what a lot of teens fails to understand is that not everyone who says they’re your friend has your best interests at heart.
Instagram does not have a feature that alerts you when someone screenshots one of your posts. Although the finsta account might be set to private, there is no telling who might screenshot the posts and where they might send it.
You should be aware of any and all social media accounts your child has. If you think your child might have a finsta, you should be open and ask them about it. Even if they tell you they don’t have one, you should still share with them the possible dangers of putting all their problems online.
There are so many reasons why having a finsta could be dangerous or cause potentially negative effects on someone’s social life. While some use their finsta to post crazy photos of themselves, others use it as a personal diary where they go into depth about their feelings, stuff going on in their lives, or significant events that happened recently. Even though journaling and getting your feelings out is important, your child may be putting themselves at risk when they share this information online.
If your child is constantly sharing online that they are depressed, seeking comfort, or are desperately looking for someone to give them attention then they might receive attention from the wrong people. Putting these types of feelings on the internet may make your child look like a vulnerable, easy target for predators or even young teens who might be looking to manipulate someone.
Your child might think they have 30 or 40 close friends, which they allow to follow them on their finsta, but how many of these people would they really tell this information to face to face if they didn’t have the option of sharing it to social media? Would they really try to find these 30 or 40 people to tell them or is it more convenient and cool to post it online for their peers to see?
By posting the most intimate details of their lives online, it also puts teens at risk for being bullied by others. If they post an embarrassing story or picture on their finsta and someone decides to leak the post to other people at school or online, then there could be negative consequences.
Pay attention to your kids’ online activity and make sure you know every social media platform they use and how many accounts they have. The relationship between you and your child should be an open one. They shouldn’t feel like they have to make a separate account just to post things that you won’t see. Show them you trust them and they’ll act accordingly.
By// Jessica Lee