The stereotypes are pretty much true; teens and their phones are inseparable. A study of teenager screen time shows that teens spend six to nine hours on social media every day (NBC News). Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and many other social networking platforms are popular among students at Governor Livingston. Instagram is one of the most common apps to find on a high schooler’s phone. The social networking service gives users a platform to share pictures and message friends. Anyone who has an account with the site is welcome to make multiple accounts, leading many students to form both ‘rinstas’ and ‘finstas’. Simply put, a rinsta is a real Instagram page and a finsta is a fake instagram - fake, meaning it is personal.
A rinsta is an account on which people share photos that they want to be available to the public. Those photos may be visually appealing, professionally taken, feature friends and family, or generally be pictures the user feels they look particularly good in. Olivia Mastria stated, “I have my rinsta - I’ve had it forever. I just like the idea of it on instagram.” The people who follow rinstas tend to range from best friends to school acquaintances.
A finsta is where users can be real with their followers. People can share funny stories and post any pictures they desire without feeling self-conscious, as only close friends follow the account. A poll of Governor Livingston students showed that roughly 57 out of 107 students have both finstas and rinstas, 48 only have rinstas, and 2 people have only finstas. Mastria only recently created her finsta. She stated, “I use it a lot and I think it's a good way to have social media just for people who you trust.” Freshman Abby Biegel stated, “I guess a finsta is really where we post our ugly pictures. You don’t have to care what other people think of you.” Although a majority of teens have both rinstas and finstas, but they use their finsta significantly more.
The opposite connotations of the names ‘Finsta’ and ‘Rinsta’ can be misleading, which tends to result in parents questioning the difference between the two. Sophomore Sophia Barca believes that the names are confusing as well, stating, “Finstas are ‘fake Instagrams’, but really it is where people express their emotions. A rinsta is where we edit our pictures to look different, so shouldn’t that be called a finsta?” To be frank, the names make no sense, but it's become a trend so wide and long-running, the names ‘Finsta’ and ‘Rinsta’ will probably remain the same. The use of social media has become a prominent characteristic of our generation. Through their innovation and creation of Rinstas and Finstas, teenagers continue to find new ways to make applications such as Instagram more enjoyable.