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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

In Celebration of Adele’s Finsta

The Monitor is a weekly column devoted to everything happening in the WIRED world of culture, from movies to memes, TV to Twitter.

Of all the things that could've captured my attention this week, for some reason, I can't stop thinking about Adele's finsta. Not so much that I want to track it down and follow it—I understand the sanctity of the fake Instagram account and have no intention of violating that. It's more that I want to celebrate the fact that it exists at all.

Not that Adele is in any way the first celebrity to have a finsta; it’s probably safe to assume lots of stars do. But what’s striking is that she’s speaking openly about it, and about her social media acumen broadly. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the singer claims she has both a finsta, which she uses for keeping up with interior decorating and cat content, and a fake Twitter for following online gossip about her life. (Rumor has it, she’s the one giving you hearts.) “I know how to trace something online like no one’s business,” Adele told the magazine, “back to the original source or leak, more than anyone on my team.”

What this all seems to indicate is that Adele is talking publicly about what’s easily one of the best ways for celebrities to exist online. Her (official, verified) Twitter and Instagram accounts are fine—mostly just promotion for her music (her new album 30 drops next week) without feeling like they’re entirely run by publicists. But in admitting that she keeps fake accounts, she is also acknowledging that she tries to keep mess where it belongs: off main.

This isn’t to say she’s never made any social media missteps. Last year she found herself in the middle of a controversy after posting a photograph of herself on Insta wearing a Jamaican flag bikini and Bantu knots in her hair in honor of West London’s Notting Hill Carnival, which celebrates Jamaican culture. Some believed the photo reeked of cultural appropriation. Others stated she merely seemed to be showing appreciation. Adele didn’t address the controversy with Rolling Stone, but last month she told British Vogue that she totally gets “why people felt like it was appropriating … I didn’t read the fucking room.”

Honestly, I don’t know why, exactly, I find the existence of this particular finsta so fascinating. Perhaps it’s just the thrill of imagining that any rando follower request could actually be one of the most famous singers in the world. Or perhaps that Adele is as interested in cats and interior design as the rest of us. Or perhaps it’s far more simple than even that. Perhaps it's just knowing that Adele—she’s just like us.

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