Oct 14, 2015

Finsta, Rinsta or Somewhere In Between.

An interesting article about our the seeming perfection of social media personas cropped up on my Facebook feed earlier this week and I've been reflecting on it and, by extension, how the observations and research relate to me.  So to give you a break from posts about what has got to be the most high pressure and life changing house move ever to have been completed in Sydney (glad I've still got it in me to have a go at myself), I thought I'd put some of those thoughts to paper today.



Perhaps I should begin by defining what I think I am on social media.  As you've gathered, this blog and its associated Twitter and Instagram accounts are 'Anonymous'.  The photos I share of family and friends are intentionally faceless.  While I write primarily about the ups, downs and in betweens of my life, my life occurs in the context of a number of people whose privacy I wish to protect.

The anonymity is purely for privacy.  I would stand by everything I've written or commented on as Sydney Shop Girl if these accounts somehow got hacked and my real name were attached to them.  I enjoy writing and the world of online interaction and friendships and Sydney Shop Girl is a wonderful outlet for me to 'reach out' without imposing on those in my 'real life' who may not want to share in the overshare.  It's entirely voluntary to opt in or out of Sydney Shop Girl but I imagine it would be a bit trickier to do so if you were faced with all my commentary over what was meant to be a nice, relaxing cup of coffee or shopping trip.

To go back to the article I referenced at the top of this post.  Briefly, it discussed the pressures and reality gaps people face when real life isn't as perfect as their stream of status and photo uploads suggest.  Tragically, some end their lives for a complex number of reasons relating to self esteem, mental health issues and the stress of trying to maintain a perfect online image.  Others lead complicated double lives where parts of their houses are immaculate for Instagram whilst their actual living spaces have the look of the chaos of everyday, normal life.

There is also the phenomenon of having Finsta and Rinsta accounts on Instagram.


Finsta is the account you have for showing the world your 'best possible self'.  I use inverted commas here because it's worrying that your best self should be based purely on what you're wearing, where you're travelling and how many designers you can possibly tag in the one photo.  What are these photos the 'best' at?  Inciting envy or admiration from others?  Reminding yourself that every so often you do scrub up rather nicely?  That you have all the things?  That you do have 'a life' outside of the monotony and responsibility of the daily slog?


And then there's Rinsta.  This is the account you might even have under your real name.  It might even be private (whilst Finsta is all about spreading that veneer of perfection far and wide, baby).  In your Rinsta world, dinner is fish from the Woolies fish counter baked in the free marinade you get with every fresh fish purchase from the counter.  Which, by the way, is a pretty tasty dinner even if it doesn't photograph all that well.

I don't have it in me to compartmentalize my life into separate Rinsta and Finsta worlds.  Instead, I've got the one account which has it all.  And I also hope I've got perspective and judgement.  There are moments and experiences in life which just don't need to be shared on social media.  We each have our own definitions and thresholds regarding where those boundaries may be.  As long as I know what mine are, it doesn't really matter to me what those of others may be.

Would you get or do you have a Rinsta and a Finsta?  Is it hard work?


9 comments:

  1. I've been seeing this topic come up a lot lately for the past year. And it fascinates me.

    Because I know the number of likes I get on something is meaningless, yet I was always checking my phone, did that get more likes? Has someone commented and I need to reply right away? Around this time last year my church did a series called #struggles about how social media and technology is just kind of sucking us all into this crazy world. Last month I did a #strugglesfast, which is a tech detox, and I really enjoyed it. Coming out of it I uninstalled facebook on my phone, I cut down my data limit to just a quarter of what it was, and I try set myself "times" to do tasks online so I'm not obsessed with refreshing and scrolling and consuming every two seconds. There's a book out I've been reading too (got an advance copy) based on the series and the tech fast and I'm finding it really compelling reading.


    Sometimes I wonder if by blogging and being active on social media I'm adding to that comparison problem, or if my life is mundane enough (I would hope so!) that I'm not causing any issues. I don't have separate accounts but I do wonder if I'm sharing the right mix of things online. Like you I'm comfortable with what I share, but every time I come across yet another photoshopped blog or insta pic I wonder if there's not more I should be doing, or saying, or sharing. Or less!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your perspective, Mica.

      I think I need to try a tech detox sometime as well.

      SSG xxx

      Delete
  2. As someone who really enjoys your blog just keep doing what you are doing. Your blog brightens my day.

    Clarissa

    ReplyDelete
  3. Pah! What you see is what you get with me!
    Perfection is exhausting and I embrace mediocrity often.
    I also post pics of my mongrel dog cause she's cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another embracer of mediocrity here!

      SSG xxx

      Delete
  4. Interesting read SSG, I found the article disturbing. What are your thoughts on forum participation ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon

      Thanks for your comment. I've been very fortunate in my forum participation experiences. I've made some 'real life' friends through them.

      SSG xxx

      Delete
  5. I don't lie, or misrepresent, but I don't bare all, either. I prefer the approach of yore, i.e., what's public is public, and should be true, what's private is private, and just for you.

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    Replies
    1. I've always admired your ability to have that firmly defined boundary in your blogging life, L!

      SSG xxx

      Delete

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