Instagrammers have a separate finsta account where they share unfiltered candid content with their friends. On Twitter, people have separate anon accounts to shit on people, share controversial opinions. Some of us have separate work & personal accounts to manage both identities: professional and personal.

Why do they do that? IMHO the only way to share an unfiltered version of you online is either by hiding your true identity (ala Reddit) or creating a private space with friends (ala Instagram).

Think about it: Putting out your unfiltered thoughts has limited upside. Occasionally they might blow up and get you more likes/upvotes/any other virtual currency for social status. But mostly you will get ratio’ed, if your thoughts are really unpopular and not catered for the masses. What about the downside? You can lose your job, make enemies, become a pariah, and even get “cancelled”. In terms of risk vs reward trade-off, you have limited upside, while the downside is unlimited.

If you are a VP at some big company, would you really want to risk your job over some silly tweet? You already know the answer to this. Hence, I also don’t post post 90% of my private notes. Because I don’t know who I will end up offending. Or worse, how many people will end up judging me because of my honest opinion.

On Twitter, you will see 90% of people only putting out tweets/ sharing photos which are tailored to their audience. Things which are “safe”; can get them validation from their tribe. Real discussions, honest opinions are largely missing. 

Instagram partially solved this filtered vs unfiltered self problem with their Stories product. It allowed people to post filtered photos (high effort, high ROI) on their feed, while people used Stories to put out unfiltered content which disappeared in 24 hours. Mundane photos became acceptable thanks to Stories. 

But doing it for photos is easier. How do you do it for thoughts? I don’t have an answer to that. Yet.