Is a Fake Instagram really worth it?
Instagram has been growing in popularity as an online destination for portraying the most perfect and edited aspects of one’s life. A trend, popular among teenagers, gives young people a chance to be real or is it a chance to be too real??? Finstagrams or Fake-Instagrams otherwise known as Sinstagrams (Secret-Instagrams), and SPAM, have popped up as a way to showcase the unedited side of life and allowing the creation of an online alter ego.
Mostly, teenage girls occupy the Finsta atmosphere but teenage boys are also susceptible to joining in.
By creating a private account and only granting access to a limited amount of people gives users the belief that what they post is not on display. Teens view the account as space away from the detection of family members or potential employers with no serious consequences.
Unfortunately, numerous teens turn these accounts into places to put out scandalous posts such as substance abuse, nudity or even cyberbullying due to anonymity they may feel they have. The sense of being anonymous can easily be taken by an experienced user tracking the fake account’s interactions with followers, likes, and comments. Typically these accounts are masked by using a spin-off of the user’s first or last name making it obvious who it is to people who know the user. At times, the user may select a sexually suggestive screen name.
It’s a way to show off behaviors without outing those behaviors.
In 2018, a University of Alabama student was expelled from the school and removed from her sorority after videos of her using racial slurs from her Finsta went viral. Later on the same year, a Georgia State University soccer player withdrew from the university and was suspended from the soccer team after similar videos surfaced from her Finsta. Though only trusted people may have access, there is no guarantee that those posts won’t get out there. Followers still have permission to screenshot or record what is posted to the account. Even if the account is erased, recovery measures can still make the content it was hiding live on.
Clearview AI, a facial recognition software company, has created a clearinghouse of 300 billion images harvested through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter over the past 10 years. Users are able to be recognized and held accountable not only for the pictures posted to their profile but also for the pictures being posted in friends’ accounts.
Fads such as the practice of using a Finsta promote behavior that is off-brand and can create serious consequences for the present and the future. If we are looking at our social media profiles as a reflection of who we really are, we should be asking ourselves why the need for a fake account? Stay true to who you are and who you want to be.