Themed Instagram Accounts Gain Popularity


Media by Meghan Harman

Melanie Chavéz, freshman, was in her 5th Hour Algebra class when she fell asleep. Her photo was taken and sent into @mhs_sleeping_page.

In the midst of her geometry class, Nour Elbeshbeshy, sophomore, slowly drifted off to sleep. Having stayed up until 4 a.m. working on homework the night before, Elbeshbeshy napped through nearly half the class.

Instead of waking to boisterous classmates, however, Elbeshbeshy awoke to find her photo featured on one of MHS’ numerous student-run Instagram accounts that highlights sleeping students around the school on a daily basis.

“I rarely ever sleep at school so it’s almost ironic that the one time I do, I get posted,” Elbeshbeshy said.

The Instagram account @mhs_sleeping_page has featured more than 100 students since the account first became active. It has gained more than 950 followers, students and parents alike, as of Wednesday, Dec. 15. Elbeshbeshy said the concept itself is incredibly fun and appealing to students.

“The only effects I’ve seen are positive so I’m a fan,” Elbeshbeshy said. “I can see how they’d be a bit problematic, though, to people who wouldn’t want to get posted, but as long as whoever runs them is respectable.”

The account is one of many that thrives on anonymity to provide amusement to the school community. 

From criticizing parking to sharing student drama to creating the perfect student “ships” (relationship pairings) or even just students breathing, new accounts appear almost daily. Submissions are often direct messaged to the accounts themselves before they are posted.

Though the MHS account holders remain secret, the trend has been prevalent in other schools, and some posters are less concerned with keeping anonymity.

Alexis Miller, senior at Rockwood Summit, runs the @rshs_badparking Instagram page highlighting the faults in student parking at her school. Miller said she got the idea from videos highlighting similar accounts she saw on the social media app TikTok.

“This account was made out of curiosity to see how people would react,” Miller said. “I honestly didn’t think the account would get far at all, but once I saw I would get 60 followers a day, it showed me that people find this stuff funny.”

She was able to keep it secret for a long time with only her two closest friends and a track coach knowing. However, on Thursday, Dec. 2, Miller revealed her identity as the account holder.

Miller said she usually receives between one to two submissions every school day and reviews them briefly before posting them anonymously. 

With nearly 25 posts and 500 followers as of Wednesday, Dec. 15, Miller said she has never received a negative complaint or a request for the removal of a photo off the account. She said, more than anything, it has elicited responses of amusement.

“This account was not made to make fun of people. Everyone has those days where they just can’t park,” Miller said. “If the account gets too out of hand and people are getting mad, then I will delete the account or delete the post. Hopefully that won’t happen and no drama is made.”

Accounts such as these run the risk of receiving repercussions for posting photos without the consent of the individuals in them. Mike Hiestand, senior legal counsel of the Student Press Law Center, said these types of accounts fall into a gray legal area.

Crowded areas such as lunch rooms or football stadiums have no reasonable expectation of privacy, Hiestand said, but classroom photos that would be more likely to result in embarrassment rather than an invasion of privacy are up to more individualized school discretion. 

“I think a school could be on reasonable grounds in banning cell [electronic] use in classrooms as long as any established rules were uniformly and fairly enforced,” Hiestand said. 

Freshman Principal Dr. Dan Ramsey said these types of accounts can get out of hand if not run properly. 

“The big thing is it’s got to be in a positive light. If it’s something that puts someone in a negative light, I think that’s where they run the most risk,” Dr. Ramsey said.

Dr. Ramsey had his own experience with a similar social media account, a Twitter page called “The Daily Dan Ram” that posted daily images of him around the community. He said he found the account flattering and all in good fun.