Listen to me: We have to go deeper than Finstagram
My ‘fake’ Instagram is no longer a sanctuary for my ‘real’ posts
by Katie Way
When I first heard about the concept of a fake Instagram, adorably portmanteau'd as a "Finstagram" or "Finsta," I was skeptical.
I already devoted an embarrassing amount of mental energy towards the maintenance of a single Instagram account, because those solo shots aren't gonna post themselves. Why add an additional account into the mix?
But as my younger, cooler friends began following my main account with their Finstas, I started to get kind of jealous. I wanted my own repository for the memes and selfies eating away at my phone's storage space. Plus, the idea of removing the performance element from the act of posting online sounded refreshing. Word-vomit, 10th grade Tumblr style, with the private nature account acting as a kind of updated "Read More."
So I took the plunge and made a finsta, and the honeymoon period was sweet. I complained about my restaurant job and bragged about the height of my fall formal date, two things I'd never do on my regular Instagram lest they tarnish my brand.
My inaugural post was the greatest tweet exchange of all time, reposted below but not from my finsta, obviously. It's not that far-gone.
But as I basked in my uninhibited posting bliss, I grew careless and made the mistake that led to the compromising of my finstagram: I let way too many fucking people follow me. Before I knew it, my "private" account was open to 148 of my friends and acquaintances. A few of them don't even follow my regular Instagram account and now think I'm someone who's really into "sharing" online. Gone were the days when I could spew my inner monologue with reckless abandon.
I found myself performing mental calculations before shit-posting and worrying about how many likes my more confessional posts were racking up. Gone was the sanctity of my finsta, and back was the familiar, aimless anxiety attached to the maintenance of my brand.
Am I being dramatic? Absolutely. Did I brainstorm solutions to this problem I created for myself? Duh. I've come up with a triad of possibilities, the most attractive one being…
Secret Instagram, Sinful Instagram, whatever. I make a third, more exclusive account while still posting periodically to the second private account as a decoy. I funnel my deepest secrets, tenderest insecurities and wildest "I almost died last night" recaps into this account. I do not accept any requests beyond the 12 or so friends I initially follow, each of whom I swear to secrecy. If this account is compromised, I institute an MAB policy (mutually assured blocking) and cut them all out of my life. This is not the move of an insane person and is completely worth it.
I do not make a new finsta account, but instead work to salvage the one I have by blocking the shit out of people- Blocking + Instagram, get it? The only messier thing than this name are the mental gymnastics that adopting this approach entails. Culling at least half of my followers would ensure me a measure of privacy and even though I won't be fully free to talk shit online, I probably shouldn't do that anyway. This option involves making two concessions to myself: that maintaining privacy online is impossible and removing the performance inherent from the act of posting something on social media is an illusory goal. But am I ready to admit these #deep #truths about being online to myself? Probably not. I'm so young and so immersed in the digital landscape.
I delete my finsta and my regular Instagram and erase my presence on the network entirely- Zero Instagram. I only talk about my problems with my journal, my closest friends and strangers when I am drunk. Freed from the self-imposed shackles of this visually based social media, I write a novel and get engaged. This is absolutely not going to happen.
I firmly believe that I am not the only person who has encountered this hurdle. In fact, I'm sure of it- Lorde was exposed earlier in the summer for running a secret Instagram account where she rated onion rings. And although I am not rating onion rings, but instead posting pictures of my face close-up with whiny captions, I totally feel her pain. So if Lorde, or anyone else, has a better solution than mine, please feel free to reach out to me- just don't fucking do it on my finsta.