(Disclaimer: Hawkingheadlinez is an account that does not really exist)
For about a year now, “finstas” have become extremely prevalent in the lives of young people. With the rise of this phenomena, many teens have grown to love this trend and enjoy the sense of community of this online platform.
What even is a finsta?
Well, finsta is the shortened term for “fake instagram,” meaning an Instagram separate from a real Instagram (rinsta) in which all of the pressure of a real Instagram is completely absent. With no worry of who has the most followers of likes, finstas are accounts that only people trusted by the account holder are allowed to follow due to the overabundance of juicy content and secrets held in this golden vault of confidentiality. Another common name for this type of account is a “spam account,” because one can post on a finsta as much as they desire and not suffer the judgement they would receive if this activity were to take place on their rinsta.
There is no formal confidentiality agreement, but there is a moral code that must be followed in order to be a respectful member of the community.
I posted a photo to my finsta asking the community to tell me some of the rules that they follow in order to maintain a safe and respectful community. From the responses I received, I compiled a list of commandments, creating “The Ten Commandments of Finsta.”
- Thy must have a funny, punny, or interesting name.
What even is the point of having a finsta if you don’t have a clever pun in your name that makes your followers breathe heavily out of their nose while they are “laughing” alone to themselves in their room late at night? The possibilities for finsta names are really endless, and coming up with one really isn’t that difficult. Just be sure to include a pun or a common misspelling of your name in your @, and you will be good.
2. Thy shalt post as much as they desire.
When it comes to how much you can post on a finsta, the limit does not exist. While some people prefer to spam more than others, there is no true right or wrong answer as to how many pictures can be posted in one day. Some people post five times a day, while some post once a week. If you’re ever having a day with overabundant amounts of emotional baggage, the people of finsta will welcome you to talk about your feelings.
- Thy shalt only positively impact the community.
Being active in the community is crucial to how the system runs. However, actively posting negative comments is not necessary on finsta. If a finsta user plans to remain a respected member of the community, they must agree to only impact the community in a positive way. If there is any sort of disagreement between two members in the community, the user with the problem should simply unfollow the account they see as a problem to avoid tension and future unnecessary and petty disputes.
- Thou shall respect and honor thy community and respect confidentiality (AKA don’t be a finsta snake).
While finsta is a safe place for people to talk about their problems and personal life, “finsta snakes” are still a very large concern. What happens on finstagram, stays on finstagram- no ifs, ands, or buts. There is never an excuse to show an outsider a post they were not intended to see, because that defeats the purpose of having a private Instagram full of all your deepest darkest secrets. Anyone that is caught showing inside information to outsiders should be blocked IMMEDIATELY.
- Thou shalt always respond to photos marked with “#replypost.”
If someone posts a picture beginning the caption with “#replypost” with a scenario or situation following, then the reader must always reply. If this person is reaching out to the community for answers, then answers must be provided. Senior finsta user Alyssa Varesio says, “Just be active in the finsta community. If someone needs advice, just throw a short little comment in there. Don’t be a finsta lurker.” Just examining your finsta feed is not enough- you must be interactive and resourceful.
- Amount of likes, followers, or themes shalt never matter.
In an app full of visually appealing images, finsta proves to be a complete contrast to ninety nine percent of the Instagram community. Likes on finsta are not even a concern, as this is something that is never even brought up. Since there is no pressure on finsta, the amount of likes on a photo play absolutely no role.
- If thou sees a post on a rinsta that was meant for finsta, thou must report it to the account holder.
It happens to the best of us- and at the worst times. I’ve posted hideous pictures of myself with extremely long rants on my real Instagram instead of finsta countless amounts of times. If you ever see this happen to a peer and you see that they didn’t instantly realize their mistake, it is crucial that you do all that you can contact them. Text them, call them, show up at their doorstep, send a carrier pigeon, use the pony express mail system- just do whatever you need to do to make them aware.
- Thou shalt NEVER screenshot and distribute a finsta post.
If I was ever to catch someone screenshotting one of my finsta posts, that would be the end of our interaction as I knew it. What kind of an untrustworthy finsta would distribute confidential information? Not anyone I want in my followers list. Junior finsta user Anna Witkowski says, “As a rule, I don’t screenshot finstas unless it’s my best friends and I’m sending it to them.
This also demonstrates why follower cleansing is very necessary. Every once and awhile, it is good to go through your finsta followers and make sure they are all reliable, no tattles aloud. Similar to a farmer spraying pest repellant on their crops, sometimes you just need to make sure you are taking preventive steps to abstain from finsta drama.
- No potential suitors shalt follow their suites finsta.
There are a few couples who make this work, but it is a rarity. Since one of the key points to having a finsta is to be able to freely ask for advice and talk about issues surrounded by people whom you trust and can relate to, having someone you’re “talking” to or a significant other follow your finsta basically defeats the entire purpose.
- Thou hath permission to say no.
If you don’t feel comfortable with someone following your account, deny their request. This account, for some people, is something that they use to confide in others and seek comfort, meaning that only trusted people can follow the account. Never feel pressure to allow someone into your online diary of personal secrets and confessions.
I made this concept sound so confusing and complex, but it is really anything but. Finstas are a safe place for people to just chat and say things in confidentiality in the comfort of people they trust to follow this account. Not all finstas are big gossip message forums, in fact, 99.9% of finstas are just meant so that friends can share things with other friends and simply talk about notable experiences.
Aside from the snitches, snakes, and drama that occurs close to never, the finsta community proves to be a great place to interact with your peers in private and create bonds with fellow finsta users.