food for thought: the finsta and why I will never get one

With the “finsta” becoming exponentially popular with teenagers now in an age of oversaturated social networks, ‘throwing shade’, and ‘roasting’, it only seemed appropriate to put my thoughts onto paper. Just to quickly go over some modern day slang:

Finsta: a fake Instagram account, often set to private so only the user’s followers can view content.
Roasting: Talking s**t about someone or something else
To have beef with sb.: Disagreeing with someone over something in the past
Throwing shade: putting down someone/something publicly without stating the person’s/its name.

Many of my friends have finstas, set to private, to express their thoughts and feelings. A bit like a diary, but with informal snapshots of your daily life which you’d only like to share with your closest followers, and not on your ‘actual’ Instagram account. Now, I’d like to establish the fact that I have nothing against a finsta for sharing your personal moments or talking about life’s ups and downs. However, I do feel uncomfortable when someone deliberately sets up a finsta to roast other people – the level of intimacy can occasionally correlate with an increased intensity of viciousness. Not only this, but the amount of conflict caused by a single post is really too much.

I find that social media gives me a protective glass to stand behind, and there’s a distance between what I post and how I personally feel. There’s a lack of immediacy and humanity. In a world where it’s easy to click the share button, maybe we should consider posting less out of anger – which more often than not harbours deliberate malicious intent – and take a moment to leave social media. It’s not essential to share every moment or dispute, even in real life – sometimes all you need is to talk to someone. You don’t need an audience of 30 people. That in itself has reduced a person to a figure and a ‘like’. This disconnection is something that makes me wary of posting emotionally-triggered outbursts which aren’t intended for a certain person’s eyes; on the internet, nothing is really private.

Ironically , although the finsta is supposed to be fake, I can’t help but wonder if they’re the real reflection of yourself. A typical teenager’s Instagram account usually filters out all the unappealing, mundanities of life. Hell, isn’t everyone guilty of committing a murder of mundanity when we post our best photos? While Instagram has many perks and can be an inspirational platform, out of the plethora of social media sites on offer it’s ultimately the most hedonistic, narcissistic and ego-promoting of all. On a finsta, nothing is filtered. (Unless you use a photo filter, ha.)

Mainly, it’s unattractive and hurtful. If someone dedicated an entire post about how something you did that offended them, how would you feel? I’m not saying that self-expression is redundant – in fact, it’s better to let out your feelings rather than keep them in – but to avoid hurting people, it would be prudent to end this madness and find a better way of communicating those feelings.

What do you think? Do you have a finsta, and if so what’s your perspective on this?

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