First, we have to choose a photo to post; we typically have a handful of slightly different versions of the same photo. We take normal smiling shots, and we have to take "candids" (which are in quotations because they aren't really candid but completely intentional poses). Once we have picked the best photo, we spend hours editing it and choosing a filter that makes it look the best. The experienced Instagrammers know that using a filter isn't enough; you have to use all the tools like brightness, contrast and warmth that Instagram provides to really enhance your picture.
The most dreaded part of posting is making a caption, which is a process that can take hours, or even days. The caption can't just be #basic, it has to be clever, punny or really cute or else the whole post is just a waste. Last, we tag our friends that are in the photo, add a location, hit the "share" button and take a deep breath. There is always a possibility that this photo won't get as much likes as your last post, and that would just be tragic. Personally, I start sweating when I post a selfie and 20 minutes have gone by, and I still haven't gotten more than 11 likes. It's so relieving when you reach 11 likes, and your likes transfer from the "list" to the "number" format. That's when you know you have made it to the safety zone.
All of this may seem a little ridiculous, but this is the world we live in. Instagram has become associated with status, and the more followers or amount of likes you have, the more "popular" you are. You can flaunt to people by posting pics from that little sorority mixer you went to last night, or from your family vacation to Spain, where you visited an ornate palace. You feel the need to prove to others that your life is interesting and that you're super cool. You feel pressured to perfect your photos and captions because people judge you based off of your posts; your posts are a reflection of you and you portray yourself how you want your followers to see you.
Recently, there has been an emergence of "Finstagram" accounts, aka "finstas" which stand for "Fake Instagrams." Predominantly, teen girls make finstas as their second Instagram account, where they can post funny and embarrassing photos and videos and only follow their best friends. When I first heard of it, I thought the concept of finstas was so stupid, and I refused to follow my friends who took part in it.
Then I actually got a finsta, and it was a mind-opening experience. I realized something quite ironic, that my Finstagram is more of an accurate representation of myself than my real Instagram is. On finsta, I can be myself and not be preoccupied with likes or followers. I don't have to think twice about posting a photo, or spend an excessive amount of time debating over a captio. I just go for it. Finsta is empowering, and I have actually come to like it more than my Instagram account.
Although initially it may seem weird, I recommend getting a Finstagram. If you don't like it, at least try it and take in to consideration how different it is than your real Instagram account. The differences are astounding, and the amount of stress it relieves is really invigorating! No worries about likes, followers or editing. Just be yourself.