Rise of the Finsta

Tara Martin | Web Editor-in-Chief

“You go to your spam; you’re falling apart or you’re making jokes and being ridiculous and sharing memes, but you really just go to your spam to fall apart,” junior Summer Matthews said.

Instagram has two dominant types of accounts among AHS students; main accounts and spams or finstas. Every student knows that spams and finstas are synonymous with each other, but both the opposite of a main. A main, in rare occasions, could play the role of a spam or finsta but a spam or finsta could never act as a main.

A spam account often has hundreds of posts, Matthews’ has racked up 532 to date, and those hundreds and hundreds of posts could contain any number of things: less than flattering selfies, screenshots of text messages, and difficult to explain memes are some of the most common.

“The main is kind of like what a traditional social media account is going to be where you’re posting stuff that you’re doing with your friends and your family, accomplishments, and the occasional selfie to make you feel good about yourself,” Matthews said. “The spam is only people you trust with your business because it’s where you go to spill your actual business.”

In addition to the content being posted, posting schedules also often differ on a spam account when compared to a main account. Matthews said she may go months without posting on her main account, while her spam might have multiple photos posted throughout the day.

“A spam is almost like a groupchat, [but] not in the sense where you directly talk to people,” Matthews said. “It’s kind of like a blog.”

While on a main account he might follow influencers or idols, junior Cameron Secrest said he can allow himself to be more open about himself to a handpicked group of people, whereas anyone and everyone has access to his main account.

“When people have a spam, they feel like they can be more protected. On a main, most people want to follow the best lifestyles and celebrities.” Secrest said. “On a spam, when you’re willing to give up your more vulnerable side, people either see that as weakness or not as a classic lifestyle.”

By keeping his spam account restricted to an inner circle of friends, Secrest said that on his spam account he can find a comfortable balance between reality and stereotypical social media.

“On my spam I can talk about daily occurrences,” Secrest said. “On my main I feel like I’m glorifying my life.”


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