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Editorial: NCHS-affiliated Instagram accounts need to consider their impact

Editorial%3A+NCHS-affiliated+Instagram+accounts+need+to+consider+their+impact
Alice Wang

A continuous cycle of loosely-related Naperville Central accounts are made and just as quickly abandoned each year in what seems to be a staple our high school experience.

The accounts vary in nature, with purposes such as exposing terrible parking jobs, starting “beef” between students, rating the shoes of inconspicuous bathroom users, accounts similar to @rap, or about a fictional club that plans to create an in-school bee colony or an account about fictional college decisions. In most cases, these accounts are typically abandoned within a few months of their creation.

A lot of these accounts seem to have positive intentions, with their aim being directed at spreading laughs and providing entertainment for the broader school community who follows them. In most cases, their harmless actions ultimately lead to this in some form or manner.

This trend of goodwill doesn’t describe all accounts, however. The bathroom shoes account raises serious questions in regards to privacy. A previous iteration of a RAP account spread damaging misinformation about students. Some accounts have even documented student drug use at Central, creating the possibility that a one-time mistake could become a life-long concern.

When the creators and users of these accounts choose to go ahead and post something suspect on their anonymous accounts, the actions they take reflect on the broader Central community. When high school students make poor decisions on the internet, it can lead to broader ramifications for the entire student body.

While most of these accounts have a relatively brief shelf life, a few have stuck around.

One example is @nchs_affirmations which posts satirical critiques of the school day in a garish design style. Commentary relating to snow days, SOAR and the pool temperature are all examples of posts that have been made in the past two years of the account’s activity. Refreshingly, the Editorial Board can’t name an example in which this account crossed a serious line and veered into the lane of doing more harm than good.

Their funny and lighthearted posts share opinions that a majority of our student body can relate to. They provide an outlet for feelings and opinions that might not otherwise have an outlet to be shared. The account arguably helps our student body have a better experience at Central by bringing us together. There is a sense of school fellowship that is built by joining the 750 students who follow the account and the hundreds who like each post.

On the other side of the spectrum of accounts is @stool.nchs, a spinoff of the popular “Barstool Sports” empire. Almost every high school in the Illinois area seems to have a “Barstool” account. Built on the backs of their athletic programs, they frequently create content that showcases funny photos of students (often athletes), informing students of sporting events, as well as a nice serving of posts that, quite frankly, cross the line.

In the case of Naperville Central’s account (which has seen numerous iterations and name changes over the years due to being banned), the anonymous students who run the account sometimes post an “Almost Friday” post which contains photos of students in mostly candid situations that are relatively funny. They also spread information and communicate to the student body encouraging attendance at various athletic events like football and basketball games. With 1,400 followers, they are by far the most-followed account at Central.

When it comes to content that crosses the line, Barstool is the most prevalent at Central. Almost any school during a football game has students on the sidelines creating videos meant to expose and ultimately damage the reputation of the other side. Whether it’s embarrassing photos of the very athletes on the fields, videos, or altered screenshots, most Barstool accounts across Illinois seem to have few limits. Throughout the years, they’ve traditionally declared senior ditch days, created senior superlatives with categories that obviously cross the line such as “most likely to sleep with a teacher,” and highlight other behaviors frowned upon by any school administration or outside observers.

Regardless of the many questionable decisions that have been made, it does have some incredibly powerful traits that don’t make it a lost cause. The hundreds of likes on each post, thousands of followers throughout the years, and the thousands of views on each video shows that Barstool has managed to cultivate a community at Central parallel to none other in size. In a time when the administration as well as we, the Editorial Board, harp on the drought of school spirit and the importance of building community, the support of the various instagram accounts far outweighs any efforts at community building made by Central’s adults within the last two years.

SOAR Homeroom, billed as the next great solution towards the drought of community, isn’t living up to the plan in the slightest, with far fewer meetings then planned and from the Editorial Board’s perspective, little to no true community being built in the classroom. Traditions like Mr. NCHS and the Multicultural Show have fallen out of favor with the student body, with their replacements still showing a lack of support. The form of community pushed down student’s throats every day isn’t something they’re receptive to. And it shows. Humans don’t desire this fake, corporate type of community, they want true human connection that isn’t forced through an agenda by people above them.

So in this current situation we find ourselves in, in which these student led groups are thriving, we have one ask of you. Be better. Exemplify the traits that make Central such a great place to be on a daily basis. Be a positive community contributor, not a negative one. We students have an incredible penchant to build various communities using social media. If we focus our energy and time on building positive groups that can simultaneously have fun and can toe the line in humor, our school community will broadly benefit. Ultimately, the student body votes with its feet. If you like, repost or otherwise engage with a post that you know doesn’t help anyone, don’t. It’s not a problem for just individual account creators, it’s a problem for everyone.

other in size. In a time when the administration as well as we, the Editorial Board, harp on the drought of school spirit and the importance of building community, the support of these various Instagram accounts far outweighs any efforts at community building made by Central’s adults within the last two years.

SOAR Homeroom, billed as the next great solution towards the drought of community, isn’t living up to the plan in the slightest, with far fewer meetings then planned and from the our perspective, little to no true community being built in the classroom. Traditions like Mr. NCHS and the Multicultural Show have fallen out of favor with the student body, with their replacements still showing a lack of support. The form of community pushed down student’s throats every day isn’t something they’re receptive to. And it shows. Humans don’t desire this fake, corporate type of community, they want true human connection that isn’t forced through an agenda by people above them.

So in this current situation we find ourselves in, in which these student led groups are thriving, we have one ask of you. Be better. Exemplify the traits that make Central such a great place to be on a daily basis. Be a positive community contributor, not a negative one. If we focus our energy and time on building positive groups that can simultaneously have fun and can toe the line in humor, our school community will broadly benefit. Ultimately, the student body votes with its feet. If you like, repost or otherwise engage with a post that you know doesn’t help anyone, don’t. It’s not a problem for just individual account creators, it’s a problem for everyone.

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About the Contributor
Alice Wang
Alice Wang, Page Designer & Editorial Cartoonist
Alice Wang is a junior, and is entering their third year with Central Times. Alice loves comics and animation, and plans on majoring in Film Production. Along with being an editorial cartoonist and page designer for the Times, Alice is also the general manager of Chinese Club, and plans on playing Badminton for Central. In their free time, they enjoy reading poorly-written webcomics, watching horror films, sleeping and conjuring up ideas to pitch to film studios in the future.
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