16.01 2018 14:17h

The Silent Social Media Trend You Don’t Want Your Kids Following

Ask your teen if they have a "Finsta" account...
Finsta, Rinsta, Instagram, Social Media

How many Instagram accounts does your teenager have?

Most parents would assume only one, but a growing social media trend among young adults may prove you wrong.

“Rinstas” and “Finstas” are slang terms teens are using to differentiate between their “real” Instagram and “fake” (i.e. private) account.

A Rinsta account is often linked to a user’s given name and can be viewed by anyone who has access to Instagram.

It’s the account teens are confident sharing with potential employers, college admissions committees and anyone outside of their inner circle. Rinsta accounts presents the user in a polished, professional light and the content posted on the profile is curated for public view.

Essentially, the Rinsta account is the one your teen would be proud to show their grandmother.

A Finsta account, on the other hand, is a private account only shared between close friends.

Teens may have one or multiple secret accounts (usually for different groups of friends). Images posted on this account are typically of silly nature and include inside jokes between friends – but on the rare occasion the content can be explicit.   

Because Finsta accounts are set to private (and parents may or may not be aware of their existence) teens feel protected.

They might be more inclined to post distasteful, disrespectful or illegal content (images of underage drinking, captions with foul language and racist remarks, etc.) on their secondary account. They may also assume only their friends will see it, but the reality is it only takes one screenshot of an inappropriate photo to ruin someone's academic aspirations or future career plans. 

The good news is most Finsta accounts are innocent in nature, and parents shouldn’t be concerned if their teen admits to having one (or two, or three).

Regardless, it’s important parents to engage their children in a discussion about what is appropriate to post online and what needs to be kept offline. The UAE has very strict cyber laws, and teens need to be aware of the consequences should they be broken.

Does your teen have more than one Instagram account? How do you monitor your childrens' behaviour on social media? Let us know in the comments below.

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