SPAM, and not the lunch meat

SPAM accounts are becoming increasingly common among young people.

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“It lets me spam on whatever I want without having to constantly think what people are going to say about it,” said Sole Scorza, 11.

Spam is a second Instagram page that mostly teenagers have, to literally spam pictures of whatever they want. Spam is quite different from their main Instagram page. There is no filter on what they post – nothing. Just raw, there to soak in, no second guessing on if it should be posted or not as you would do for your main account.

“I created my spam account back in February, I thought it would help me just express myself,” Scorza said. “I don’t have time to be listening to their opinions on what I post. That is why I have my spam account with friends and friends only because they don’t say anything about what I post. Pretty much I express how I feel without being criticized.” According to Joanne Orlando, Researcher for Technology and Learning at Western Sydney University “Instagram is the most popular social media platform for teens: data from the United States shows that about 76% of this age group use it regularly. My current research shows that on any given day, a teen accesses Instagram around 10-30 times. They check likes, comments, share stories, view their friends’ latest posts, and follow their interests.” There are really three main reasons why teenagers have a spam account. The first is to communicate with their real friends.

“Teens commonly create finstas as a space to show their silly or more vulnerable side with close friends, without being judged by others,”Orlando said. “It is not uncommon for teens to have thousands of Instagram followers (many of whom they don’t know personally), and the potential for criticism on such accounts is rife.”

“It’s just my go to, I know I can post whatever I want and people don’t judge me, Scorza said. “I can speak on certain things that’s really sad and not a lot of people would be in my business besides the people I accept.” Another reason is to enjoy private accounts. Some teens use spam accounts to privately enjoy interests they feel others may judge them by, to express their inner feelings or just “spam” anything. For example, a teenager can be going through some family problems and just need somewhere to rant about it. They will go on their spam account and just pour our their feelings.

“I would go on my spam account to talk about my feelings and my problems,” Evelyn Alamillo, senior, said.“So I would just have people follow me and now they know about personal problems because I post about it.” A third reason is to boost one’s own popularity. Some people use their spam accounts to hype up their real instagram page. Some users constantly post pictures of their main account and say “go like my picture, go comment, etc.”

“Spam accounts is an amazing thing to have,” Daniela Diaz, junior, said. “I feel like I can actually be myself with my spam account. I highly recommend someone that’s really shy or just wants to rant, with only a few friends following you. If you don’t have one, you’re missing out.”