Finsta fixation puts students at risk of tarnishing reputation

Tower Editorial Board

Graphic by Riley Lynch ’18

Fake Instagrams, better known as “Finstas” seem like a harmless concept.

A place to keep random pictures and videos the creator didn’t find worthy enough to earn a spot on their main page, put there for followers to enjoy. However, in an era where social media dominates the social spectrum, these accounts have never posed a larger threat to anyone, especially to the teenagers who own them.

We’ve witnessed the reckless nature of Finsta accounts here at South before. Two years ago, several students were at the center of a community wide controversy after a photo displaying Grosse Pointe South students with the ‘n’ word written multiple times on their stomachs was posted on one of the student’s finsta accounts. The students involved were suspended, and the incident sparked outrage in the community and surrounding areas. One post was all it took.

We at The Tower recognize the utility and capabilities of social media. In fact, Tower accounts are routinely updated and posted on daily. But what makes a finsta account such a threat to the teenage demographic isn’t it’s platform — it’s the very principle on which they are based.

Posting without consideration, cause or reason is the purpose of finsta accounts. But it’s the lack of precaution that allows situations like the one that occured two years ago to transpire. Social media is more widespread in the teenage demographic than ever. 71 percent of teens use multiple social media platforms, the most popular being Instagram and Snapchat according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. What people choose to post is most critically received during high school, while they are still applying for colleges and while their peers are most consistently exposed to each other’s accounts.

This isn’t to say that social media has a limited purpose. It should be used however that person sees fit, whether it be as a tool, for exposure, or just general social interactions. However, students now are growing up in a generation that for the first time has to worry about keeping a presentable image at all times and all places — just one poorly timed photo or video posted online could ruin someone’s future prospects. The nature of Finsta accounts works against this — consistent and spontaneous posting, especially of content that the poster thinks is unsuitable for their main page helps promote a poor representation of students and tends to paint them in a bad light depending on what is posted.

We believe that while Finsta accounts essentially provide an easier medium for one to post destructive content, the decision to post this content ultimately falls to the user themself. Responsibility with social media is more crucial than ever in today’s society — and whether or not one decides to post bad content of themselves or others is up to them, with or without a Finsta.