Instagram is a revolutionary app that allows one to share their life with those they care about in however way they see fit. We can now keep up to date with what our favorite author, sports stars, and actors are doing daily, and be able to relate to them in not only in a fanatic manner, but in ways that can often bring them back down to Earth. While effortlessly connecting the world through niche memes, sports, and fashion, Instagram simultaneously brings out toxicity among its users.
The most obvious fashion of this toxicity is the overexposure of vain and vapid content, swallowed and digested by followers continuously and endlessly. Most people, myself included, find themselves following useless and pointless accounts. It gets old seeing the humdrum of larger-than-life celebrities every day or seeing the same meme four times a day, especially when it wasn’t funny the first time.
There is a deeper toxicity to the average Instagram user, however. In recent years, the trend of the “finsta” has developed. “Finsta” is a compound slang made up of the words “fake” and “Instagram.” Logically, the public Instagrams of these users are often dubbed “Rinsta,” a combination of “real” and “Instagram.” As is, I see no problem in having two separate Instagrams, one of which contains only your close friends and one for the public. The real toxicity that I see is that finsta is often used to vent about deep traumas, quarrels between friends, and overall emotional problems. This is problematic to me for two reasons.
The first being this: if one is to complain about their “real life” problems on their finsta, that would insinuate that their “Rinsta” is chock full of their “fake life,” in which every moment is picture perfect, and their own life is portrayed as being seldom bothered by real issues. The second reason is that it simply is not healthy to vent to a screen instead of seeking advice from a professional or even a close friend. The display of one’s issues on a private Instagram account should not be considered anything close to therapeutic. To me, it is an exhibition of emotions, which indulged by its viewers, offers the host a brief and superficial catharsis that is surely fading almost as soon as it was realized.
I think it is important to note that my opinion on this is not intended to belittle those feelings or issues posted on finstas, I am merely just critiquing the delivery system. I also understand that many people have a hard time being open and honest with their feelings to another person, whether it involves them or not, so the Finsta is a delivery system for their feelings. I am not belittling any hardships, for it is important to live through them. I argue that our society has become so used to living behind the keyboard, that it has become how we deal with our problems and how we celebrate our achievements. If you look hard enough, there are people in your life who will listen to your problems, and help you celebrate your victories, they may already be following your Finsta.