Student Voice: The Effect of Social Media Accounts

Dorothy Michel also contributed to this article. 

Recently, there has been a trend on Instagram of students posting pictures of their peers for entertainment. Some examples include photos of other students sleeping, eating with bad posture and parking incorrectly. 

A number of Malden High School students have taken part in this trend by making accounts featuring photos of students eating, making fun of their shoes, sleeping, having bad posture, and positive affirmations. The account MHS Affirmations (@mhs.affirmationss) posts “positive” messages that seem to be relatable to students.

Screenshot of the MHS Affirmations page on Instagram.

Adjustment counselor Benjamin Butler was not aware of these accounts. However, after learning about them, he expressed concern about the ways students use some accounts, such as the eating and taking pictures of students’ shoes.

“I am concerned about people being filmed or photographed without consent,” Butler said. 

While he does not currently see many positive effects that the accounts have, he would like to see more accounts that are positive towards the student body. 

Butler suggested creating official school accounts where they “could communicate [their] positive values out to students and then beyond to the community.” 

That way, “the administration and the adults here at school could better track some of these trends,” he said. “I don’t know if the administration is even aware that these accounts are being done.”

Another one of the adjustment counselors, Vita Chiarenza, said that she has also never heard of the Malden High social media accounts transpiring around. Occasionally, Chiarenza would overhear students say that they have seen ‘something’ on social media, but would never specify. 

Chiarenza believes that consent should be required when it comes to being posted on these accounts. “It would make me feel uncomfortable if someone took pictures of me eating and being posted without any consent,” Chiarenza said. She stated that whether or not the accounts are being made outside of school, the content posted should stay appropriate.

Freshman Rihanna Champagne said she feels the sleeping and eating accounts should be deactivated. 

“If it were me on any of those pages, I would be frustrated, and the anxiety of people taking pictures of you is also frustrating,” Champagne said. 

That being said, Champagne does find the affirmations account to be “entertaining and funny.” 

Another freshman Guilherme Da Mata Silva stated, “I personally believe that some of the accounts are harmless, like the MHS affirmations page. However, others are an invasion of privacy, the [shoe page] and the sleeping page for example; the people running those types of accounts should definitely respect the students’ privacy and not post their feet while they’re in the bathroom, or their faces while they are sleeping without consent.”

Sophomore Makeila Scott said “I think some of the MHS accounts run by students can be entertaining, such as the affirmations page where it isn’t necessarily inflicting on anyone’s privacy nor doing anything that could cause relative harm…” going on to list the sleeping and shoes pages as examples. 

These accounts seem to be a source of anxiety for many students. Although it is understandable the people running them can view it as a harmful joke, the pages tend to be extremely immature and lacking in purpose.

When a student is afraid to take off their mask during lunch because of the eating page, that is when you know lines are being crossed and boundaries need to be set.

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