FINSTA — the fake spot where kids get real. It used to be that mostly jargon and language separated the generations — lingo was an expression of youthful style that set the young apart from their parents. But these days that lingo isn’t just words — it usually represents something tangible and powerful like a tool kids have access to. Enter FINSTA, an amalgam of “fake” and “Instagram” that teens are using.
Here’s the twist, and one the older generation would never have guessed: the fake Instagram account — the Finsta — isn’t the account kids are using to present themselves to strangers/followers. (That’s how they use their regular Instagram accounts — they’re not looking to be anonymous in public.) Teens use their Finstas to communicate with their close circle of friends/acquaintances. It’s how they keep their privacy, posting things they wouldn’t want potential employers, their parents, or anyone outside their tight-knit crew to see. The Finsta is a place, paradoxically, where they can let loose and be themselves — exactly because they’re not officially themselves there. That’s what happens when you grow up knowing you have a digital footprint: you know to cover your tracks.