It’s not just tweens and teens who might be using Finstas (Fake-Instagram accounts) to throw off their parents. We parents whose kids and their friends follow us on Instagram have probably considered using them in case we want to freely post about our crazy Friday night out (which these days is Netflix and Snoozing), or share a frustration that you don’t want them to have to worry about.
Here’s a slightly easier workaround: use the Close Friends feature on Instagram Story.
It’s easy to set up: just tap the hamburger from your home screen (aka the 3 horizontal lines), then click “Close Friends.” You’ll be prompted to add people from your follow list.
Then, when you go to post in your story, you’ll click “Close Friends” and those images will only be visible to that specific group.
It’s not a bad idea if you, like me, have a lot of your kids’ friends (not to mention your own kids) who follow you. Maybe you want to let a little expletive fly. Or maybe you want to vent about your crappy day and don’t want your kids to feel the stress. This allows you to do that without having to create another Instagram account.
However, I will say I thought long and hard about what I would even share with Close Friends, and while I was tempted to share sweet photos of my kids that they would never let me, I decided against that. Even though they might never know, I just felt that it would be disingenuous given everything I’m asking of their social media use, and what I’m trying to teach them.
I’ll let you make your own ethical decision here.
You should know that considering I’m just discovering this now, there’s a good chance your tween or teen probably already knows about this feature and might be using it. So, if you’re heavily monitoring Instagram for whatever reason, the close friends tab is something that could post a challenge for parents. If anything, it’s worth a conversation with your tweens and teens (do you require yourself to be in their close friends?), and more thought about if you would use this feature yourself and how you would if you do.