Research & Resources

“Follow my Finsta”: Drinking Trajectories in Relation to Auxiliary Instagram Accounts

This study explored the youth practice of possessing a fake secondary Instagram account known as a “Finsta” in relation to exposure to alcohol-related content and college drinking. Participants were 296 first-year university students with at least one primary Instagram account. Surveys assessed whether participants had a Finsta pre-matriculation (T1), their Instagram alcohol content exposure 1 month into college (T2), and their alcohol use at T1 and near the end of their first year (T3). Analysis revealed that having a Finsta at T1 was associated with greater exposure to alcohol-related posts at T2 and predicted heavier drinking at T3, but only for male students. These findings are consistent with previous research suggesting that males may be more behaviorally impacted by peers’ depictions of alcohol use on social media. This finding carries implications for social media-based intervention efforts targeting first-year students.

This paper, “Follow my Finsta”: Drinking trajectories in relation to auxiliary Instagram accounts,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the Journal of American college health.

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