Random, Messy, Funny, Raw: Finstas as Intimate Reconfigurations of Social Media

Sijia Xiao, Danaë Metaxa, Joon Sung Park, Karrie Karahalios, Niloufar Salehi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Among many young people, the creation of a finsta-A portmanteau of "fake" and "Instagram" which describes secondary Instagram accounts-provides an outlet to share emotional, low-quality, or indecorous content with their close friends. To study why people create and maintain finstas, we conducted a qualitative study through interviews with finsta users and content analysis of video bloggers exposing their finsta on YouTube. We found that one way that young people deal with mounting social pressures is by reconfiguring online platforms and changing their purposes, norms, expectations, and currencies. Carving out smaller spaces accessible only to close friends allows users the opportunity for a more unguarded, vulnerable, and unserious performance. Drawing on feminist theory, we term this process intimate reconfiguration. Through this reconfiguration finsta users repurpose an existing and widely-used social platform to create opportunities for more meaningful and reciprocal forms of social support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 21 2020
Event2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: Apr 25 2020Apr 30 2020

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu
Period4/25/204/30/20

Keywords

  • feminist hci
  • finsta
  • performance
  • reconfiguration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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