With all the hashtags and internet challenges floating around these days (Tide Pods anyone?), it’s hard to stay up-to-date with all of the internet trends kids follow. One of these trends, Finsta—or fake Instagram—is simply a second Instagram account that children and teens create to showcase silly selfies, complaints about parents, and other posts that don’t necessarily fit in with the content on their primary Instagram account.
Think of it this way—if a child’s regular Instagram account is filled with well-thought-out images and captions that they feel comfortable sharing with the whole world, a Finsta account showcases the photo fails and more personal posts that kids only want trusted friends to see. Many teens put their regular Instagram—known as their Rinsta—on public mode so anyone can see it, and put their Finsta under a different name, allowing only select people to follow.
So what do you do if your child has a Finsta account? “My advice is to not freak out about this any more than any other online platform or any other adolescent behavior,” says Dr. Emily Laux, child psychologist with the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “From the beginning of time, adolescents have tried to hide things from their parents.”
Let kids know you’re privy to this new trend, without coming off as accusatory or angry. Talking about what their goals are with a secondary account can instill trust in kids, as can having an older sibling or trusted adult—besides Mom and Dad—request to follow their Finsta.
Keeping lines of communication open means kids will feel confident coming to their parents for help if they need it, says Laux, adding “Fumbling your way through [talking to kids about Finsta], trying, and failing is better than not trying at all.”