Instagram Invasion

Harassing Shorewood Instagrams need to go

by Anya Farwell, staff

Instagram. One of the largest social media platforms used by people around the world–especially teenagers–mostly to amuse themselves by following the perfectly constructed lives of their classmates. 

So, it was no surprise when students started to make profiles of their fellow classmates. Some used these profiles to embarrass, others to create the element of humor. But the question I am left with, as a fellow user of this popular and overused app is, when do you cross the line? 

Although many students (at first) believed these instagrams to be funny, the outcome of them has turned into bullying, and It all started out when a high school (which will remain unnamed) came up with the “brilliant” idea to make an Instagram profile highlighting classmates hilariously falling asleep in class. To my surprise, the posts blew up among students as the “trend” spread to more schools. This amusing act grew into more profiles and more trends. Instead of sleeping students, it quickly escalated to shaming students and their parking fails, what outfits people were wearing, and posture (both good and bad). Who cares if you were up all night studying for an exam, you are a hit on Instagram because you couldn’t park between the two white lines. 

As students got more comfortable with their photos being posted on public accounts and seeing themselves and other classmates displayed in such a way, it was only a matter of time for other types of behavior to be thrown into the mix. Nothing appears to be off the table – race, bathroom attire, and appearance rating are all fair game. 

The anonymous profilers of these accounts remain unnamed for obvious reasons, and are getting away with their absurd actions and not being held accountable. These obnoxious accounts seemingly find it funny to convey that they have no awareness of how much damage they’re really causing people, including some in our community of Shorewood. 

Now don’t get me wrong, seeing people passed out in class can be very funny, especially because I am regularly one of them. Although the main idea of these accounts was to be funny, they instead strayed from their original intent into more inappropriate and potentially damaging accounts. This is not okay. And although many of these Instagram accounts never posted anything it still brings up the issue of why the account was even made in the first place, and whose idea it was to begin with. 

The Shorewood mission statement clearly states our school to be “A safe, inclusive community resource committed to success for every student.” If the Shorewood community turns into a place  where people don’t feel comfortable and safe, free from burdens and distractions due to the unfortunate and vindictive actions that these anonymous instagram profilers have put us in, what is the point and goal of these accounts and actions, and why is no one doing anything about it? 

It is unclear if Shorewood is even able to take actions against these anonymous accounts even though most of the accounts are in their name, but currently nothing has been done by the school or the district. Due to this, many students have spoken out on the app, highlighting the bully-like actions that are taking place. Students are saying that the instagrams were funny at first, but are now crossing the line and aren’t funny or appealing to look at anymore, and I agree. In the near future I hope that the outcomes of these accounts are better, and the safe environment that Shorewood works to preserve stays intact. 

These accounts and this behavior need to come to an end. Although many students have been reporting them, they are still active, and haven’t been taken down yet. If you know someone who runs one of these accounts, I urge you to consult with them about why and how they can fix their hurtful and unnecessary actions towards fellow students at Shorewood.