By Kimberly Ngoh
Despite all the negative connotations associated with social media, I believe none outweigh the beneficial aspects these platforms bring. I am especially thankful for the free therapy I receive by projecting my rants onto the nine lucky people that follow my finsta account.
A portmanteau of fake and insta, it almost seems paradoxical to call it that. In fact, my main account on Instagram, where I showcase the prettier aspects of my life, better fits this title. And that’s not to say I am the type who loses sleep over Instagram captions, nor do I try to cover up the fact that I spend Saturday nights at the library. It’s just that through my finsta, you get to see more of my life, both the pretty and the ugly.
Having a finsta warrants an unfiltered feed free of curated images and witty captions, both from the people I follow and for the people who follow me. I don’t have to anticipate feelings of envy evoked by Insta-famous, stick-thin models who portray an unrealistic diet of pizza and fries at midnight. It feels as if every time I log onto my main account, I have a sudden urge to get a radical haircut or six piercings. If not that, then I’ll start fantasizing about my dream wedding to mimic the fairytale someone just had in the cliffside village of Positano, Italy.
My finsta has garnered a following of finstas from my friends who, like me, love telling people about their problems. I document my struggles and opinions, and sometimes humble-brag about recent achievements I would otherwise not share on my main account. I love that I know every single one of my followers and that I don’t have to worry about what so and so would say about the fact I actually dislike my major, or that I am mad at that stranger who won’t stop chewing loudly despite the bright yellow signs indicating “NO FOOD” and “KEEP QUIET.”
In retrospect, my finsta could be seen as a companion through the 4 a.m. homework grind, when I’m eight hours in but nowhere close to finishing and wanting to give up. I sign in and begin to rant about how rough things are, questioning why I chose to go down this path. But, in the midst of writing this, I realize that I’m lucky to be here – I chose this challenge and if I can make it this far, I can make it all the way through. Do you see how effective this is? I basically am my own therapist, with my finsta serving as the outlet through which to carry out my therapy sessions. Not only that, but through these raw outbursts, advice is dispensed to me through close friends who may or may not be undergoing the same struggles. I feel encouraged and do not face the fear of being judged. Aside from the exchange of advice on finstas, my own posts may be of value in letting someone know they are not alone in this struggle.
All in all, finstas form a safe space where you can just let go and be yourself, and I don’t see any negatives in that.