Digital Smarts - Finstagrams Take a Bow

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More than half of the 92 percent of teenagers ages 13 to 17 who go online daily use Instagram, but many of them find social media a burden that has to be managed. Tired of the idealized world portrayed there and on other messaging sites, teens and 20- somethings are creating “finstagrams,” or fake Instagram accounts, that present truer versions of themselves than their main profiles. These locked, pseudonymous accounts capture something rarely seen by people who follow these same users on their main accounts: reality. Finstagrams are also locked so it allows users to screen their followers, in this case usually close friends and family.

Of course, like everything in cyberspace, privacy on these more relaxed finstagrams may be fleeting. Called “finsta snitches,” people take screen shots of revealing posts and use them for leverage. In one high school several students posted compromising photos on their fake accounts that eventually reached the inboxes of authority figures.