Instagram has become the second most common social networking site for teenagers. Now, it is not only common for a person to have one account, but they are likely to have several. In a small poll conducted by the Franklin Post, teenagers in Oregon and other states of the US, 71% shared that they used multiple accounts on Instagram, with about 40% having three or more. Using multiple accounts has become a way of broadcasting oneself in separate, different ways. Main (or first) accounts are usually personal accounts meant to reflect the person using it with images of them and things they enjoy. Second plus accounts can be used for a number of things.
Similar to having a private and public persona, different accounts can be used to separate what family and employers see, from a more relaxed version of oneself. Public accounts are for the followers, while private accounts are for the user.
Second accounts for teenagers are often private. The user is able to control who does and doesn’t have access to it. Through this, one is able to “communicate with other people under varied levels of openness,” explained Gabby Paisner (12), an Instagram user with a private account. These accounts are reserved for closer friends and sometimes feature personal content. It may mention issues a person is having, could talk about something that only a small group of people would understand, or could be spam that a large amount of people might not want to see.
Private accounts can substitute talking to someone about personal issues. “I have a hard time talking to people sometimes about what I feel, and social media helps me express that on a platform,” said Gabby Francis (12), a private account user. Whether used in a healthy way or not, this allows someone who may not typically reach out the chance to communicate with several people.
The counterargument, however, would be that this removes an important social aspect of getting help— as many posts receive likes rather that genuine acknowledgement. This could be a way to some of avoiding seeking real help. “Social media amplifies a person’s voice and can often allow people to say things impulsively, and can also be used to manipulate others,” said Ruby Mae, who has three different accounts. “Other times it can be a really good place to seek guidance and comfort.” Either way, it has been proven to be a solution whether long term or short.
These accounts can also be used to express students’ interests. Accounts can feature art, music, photography, comedy, entertainment, or can promote a business. Some make these accounts anonymous, as they may not want to be connected with their work. Even if not anonymous, this separates one version of oneself from what may typically be on a main account.
With its growth, Instagram has developed a culture. There are many things that can be done on this platform, and that is being utilized with these accounts.