If we can be ourselves, then why are we always trying to find outlets to show our deep down secret—our real selves?
In the name of being social, the latest trend is finstagram, creating a separate Instagram account to the private setting and going against rationale social media objective—increase followers.
Finding a Place to Be Ourselves:
Social media is the new “in public.” We are finding it harder to find and share private messages and create private social media accounts that aren’t swayed by public norms, and more importantly, left to public judgement and commentary.
Having a social media account with your real name or your brand’s name it like putting on a customer service voice all of the time. And that’s really hard and um, boring. It’s hard to not let your true self slip.
And for some, we want the “not safe for work” content—the realities of everyday life. And while group messaging and text is fun and convenient, we really want to share it on a platform that makes it easy to share and respond. More importantly, we want it to be a safe, secure, and private medium to document our real life, not our perfectly angled ulterior.
I thought the answer was Snapchat, moments of our life that quickly disappear (or now, last for 24 hours). We could share the secret things we wish we said on other forms of social media. But, people need a more scrapbook moment and history of their true feelings and inside jokes—a social media Mean Girls burnbook, if you will.
Finstagram: The Fake Instagram Movement:
Recently, The New York Times published an article, “On Fake Instagram, A Chance to Be Real.” In the article, Valeryai Safronova, spoke with teenagers and college students about this new trend of creating a separate Instagram account with limited followers who they can be themselves around. In a platform that is centered on #followforfollow, finstagram is a space to be you.
It’s like being in class and paying attention, while passing notes at the same time. More and more, we are realizing that everyone is privy to our notes, and we really don’t like when the teacher shares them with the class.
Moreover, there is constant conversation and a push for creating a strong, appropriate personal brand. Platforms that were once private, like Facebook, are now very much public and used to interact on a professional level with potential employers and interact on professional groups.
In the article, Safronova researched Instagram sensation, Essena O’Neil, located in Australia, who at one point had over 800,000 followers before she deleted her account and created an authenticity campaign, Let’s Be Game Changers.
“I made myself into a machine that gave others what they wanted from me, never knowing or valuing my true self,” Ms. O’Neill wrote on her website. “I was lost to expectations, pressures and a fearful desire to be accepted.”
Private v. Public:
There really is no safe way to be yourself. A private account is still searchable and hackable. It’s becoming harder to communicate when we tweet, Facebook, and Instagram pieces of our lives that use to be kept in password locked diaries. What’s scarier is that we are the ones leaking that content.
We want our name to be searchable on Google, but on the other hand we want to be forgiven for the flippant things we might tweet. We all have those photos in a bikini that we don’t want our boss seeing or the “I Don’t F*ck With You,” Big Sean moment. Maybe we can have the “hide from timeline” changed to “hide from parents, teachers, employers, and possible love interests” forever.
Maybe this trend of being professional and politely personal is making us into better, more politically correct people (unless we are the John Oliver’s of the world), or maybe it’s making us all want to set up a finstagram.
Social media accounts can’t be all of you, we need real life and texting for that.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Photo by alexisdc.