Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2020

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Michael Roy


Finstas, which stands for “fake Instagram,” are a new type of social media. Past research has found that self-presentation and social comparison are important on social media and may have implications for Finstas use and identity development for college-aged adults. In our first study, we hypothesized that social media self-presentation would relate to the content posted on Finstas, the current state of a participants' identity, and what comparison style they engaged with most on their public Instagram. One hundred twelve college-aged participants took an online survey and answered questions to four scales and also a Finsta survey created by the principal investigator that asked about their Finsta use. We found that deep self-presentation significantly related to the sad and angry content posted and supported our first and second hypotheses. This aligns with previous research where self-presentation was considered important for having an online account. Self-presentation did not, however, significantly relate to identity clarity or the type of comparison style engaged with. This could have occurred because another variable could have influenced the relationship between deep self-presentation and identity clarity. In our second study, we investigated if followers of Finsta accounts believed Finstas users to be authentic in their posting. Thirty participants took an online survey containing a Second Finsta Survey and we found that there was a significant difference in Finsta followers who believed that Finsta users are authentic in their content posted. Future research should investigate if Finstas are conducive to healthy identity development amongst emerging adults to recommend appropriate usage and amount of usage.


Senior thesis.

Included in

Psychology Commons