‘Finsta’ accounts allow authentic self expression

Hannah Libby | Staff Writer

Instagram isn’t just a platform to post beautiful photos–it can also be a place to let go.

Recently, there has been a rise in a subcategory of accounts: finstas. Finstas, also called spams, are separate Instagram accounts that are a more private version of a person’s main account, generally for close friends only. 

Senior Connor Telford is an active user on both of his Instagram accounts. He boasts 959 followers on his main account and 137 followers on his finsta. On his finsta account, ‘moist.carbohydrate,’ he posts a variety of memes and commentary about his friends. 

“I started my spam first semester of freshman year because I thought it would be a fun way to express myself,” Telford said. “I started it because a lot of my friends were starting their own, but I thought it would also be a nice way to be more candid — not worry as much about my persona or image on social media and just post me.”

Telford said he likes the way that his finsta allows him to relax on social media. Although he may not have 137 close friends, they are people he is comfortable revealing more of himself to. 

“I think a big part of the idea of a spam is that a lot of what we post on our social media accounts is what we want people to see, generally,” Telford said. “A spam is like everything else that emcompasses you.” 

Telford isn’t the only Mason student who has a smaller scale Instagram account. Senior Leia Bulger also has her own finsta, and hers is more of a mixture of content. 

“I have 1252 followers on my main account and I let pretty much anyone I’ve talked to follow me on that account,” Bulger said. “ But I don’t want everyone to get annoyed or weirded out by my memes or Timothee Chalamet content, like my future roommates, so I post it on my spam.”

Sophomore Catie Courtney uses her spam in a similar way. There is a specific feature on Instagram called private stories, which Courtney uses to share short videos and pictures with even less people than her finsta. 

“My story is my way of sharing things that are a bit more personal or targeted,” Courtney said. “It is a way for me to share motivational things and I think it kind of helps people who may be personally struggling the same way I am.” 

Stories, memes, and maintaining friendships aren’t the only ways this type of account is used. Junior Ellie Horvath and her sisters have shared a finsta account, ‘thehorvatches’,  since 2018. Horvath said the account is not only a way for people to see a different side to the sisters but also a way to help them stay close to each other. 

“I think for us, it was a way to allow people to see a different side to our relationship,” Horvath said. “It’s a behind the scenes look in, we post silly stuff with friends and each other. It’s even a way for us to bond if we are bored.” 

For Telford, having this spam account allows him to form closer relationships with his friends. He said he thinks what attracts people to a finsta is how personal it is compared to other types of social media.

“My spam may be more of a goofy one, but not all of them are, and that’s what makes it so unique,” Telford said. “[A finsta] can have eight followers or a hundred followers because it’s about relationships and privacy and what that means to you.”