A growing social media trend meant to give teens a break from keeping up with the pressures of a social image is morphing into a cover for bad behavior.
Finstagram is the hybrid name for a fake Instagram account.
The trend started innocently enough as a more exclusive social media page for only your closest friends where you can post unfiltered, funny, make-up free pictures.
Now Finstagram is more commonly used as a second page teens are hiding from their parents where they share provocative pictures and illustrate bad behavior.
“It’s probably not aligning with family values. When parents look at those, they get highly concerned about ‘what happened to my sweet 12-year-old that I think is living in the bedroom next to me?’” said Katey McPherson, Executive Director of the Gurian Institute, which specializes in student behavior.
McPherson says experimenting with an alter-ego is normal -- the key is how parents address it with their kids.
One telltale sign your teen could be keeping up alternate Instagram accounts is if there’s a drop-down arrow on their log-in, which is how Instagram allows users to easily toggle between multiple profiles.
If you don’t have access to their direct log-in, check who they’re following and who their followers are -- teens will often follow their own alternate accounts.
The best approach is to ask your teen if they know what Finstagram is and if they have a Finstagram account.
McPherson suggests reminding your kids about smart social media practices and that even posts on private accounts have a way of resurfacing. She also advises you talk to your teenager about why they may be feeling the pressure to keep up an unfiltered account.