Emily Baines
August 14, 2016 11:01 am
Warner Bros.

About six months ago, Instagram announced they were going to make it easier for users to switch between accounts.

While many of us didn’t understand what the big deal was, this was great news for teens who have two accounts: a finsta, and a rinsta.

Fox/Giphy

“Finstagram,” or “finsta” for short, stands for “fake Instagram account.” Ironically, the “finsta” account displays a less polished and, yet, more real version of their lives. Finstas are private, with access only given to a select group of friends. Meanwhile, an Instagram user’s “rinsta” account is the one they show to the world, where photos are carefully selected and edited to present a certain image.

NBC/Giphy

In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, popular Instagram user Sydney V. explained her reasons for maintaining two accounts, with her finsta containing mostly goofy photos of her friends and silly selfies:

“I made [the finsta] so I wouldn’t feel judged with what I post. I definitely feel more comfortable posting on it because I know only my close friends will see it.”

In an interview with Business Insider, a group of teens reported similar feelings:

“What we put to our close friends is so different than what we show the entire world. You have an ugly one for just your friends and family, and a pretty one for everyone to see on Facebook.”

Associate professor at DePaul University’s College of Communication and social media expert Paul Booth told Teen Vogue that fears of ruining one’s “image” are one of the main reasons teens are creating finstas.“Any social media account is a reflection of ourselves and they’re very curated.”

Professor Booth adds that there’s definitely a draw to having separate Instagram accounts for different audiences: you can “curate an authentic version of yourself for the people who are following you without having to worry about how many likes you’re getting or feeling judged by your followers.”

Freeform/Giphy

This is all fascinating. Now, for those of us who, like me, have barely any followers, we needn’t worry about our social media image. But it’s nice to know that if we “hit it big” on social media, we have options so we can start sharing those embarrassing selfies with puppies without fear of public ridicule!

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