Student-Run Instagram Pages Grow in Popularity

Anonymous student-run Instagram pages have been gaining popularity at GEHS, beginning with a bad parking page that shared its first post on November 15, 2021.

A+collage+of+the+anonymous+student-run+Instagram+pages%2C+that+keep+being+made.

Madeline Clark

A collage of the anonymous student-run Instagram pages, that keep being made.

Olivia Steele and Madeline Clark

Various anonymous students have started Instagram pages dedicated to posting obscure things at the high school, beginning with a page posting bad parking in the GEHS parking lot. People have been parking in pedestrian areas, over the parking lines, and some have even decided to get as creative as possible to be featured on the page.

“[The bad parking page] is actually really funny,” senior Elyea Soileau said. “Even at school, I’m always on Instagram to see if there’s a new post about a bad parker because I just think they’re funny.”

Junior Kaira Mannio was posted on the bad parking page recently. 

“My bad parking wasn’t intentional, but I didn’t feel like fixing it, so it kind of was intentional,” Mannio said.

Like Soileau, Mannio interprets the account in a light-hearted manner.

“I think it’s funny,” Mannio said. “I don’t think anyone takes it to heart if they get posted. I mean, it’s just parking. It doesn’t mean anything.”

The bad parking page posted its first bad parker on Monday, November 15. Since then, the account has grown a massive amount of followers in the two weeks it has been active.

“We would like to say that we started this page to show how bad the parking in this parking lot truly is,” the owners of the bad parking page said. “We never thought that it would grow so quickly, the account gained over 400 followers in the span of three days.”

In three weeks, the parking page has posted almost eighty bad parkers. While the number of owners is still unknown, it takes a lot of people to catch that many parking jobs in a span of three weeks.

“We primarily get our posts from people who send in pictures, but sometimes we go out and take our own pictures,” the owners said.

Mannio was one of the parkers whose parking job was sent to the page. 

“I did tell people to send in my parking,” Mannio said. “So yeah, that was intentional.”

Soileau has never been posted on the page. Although never having been posted, she does have her own opinions of the parkers featured on the page.

“Our goal, in the end, is to keep it interesting and make people laugh.””

— @GEHS.BadParking owners

“I just don’t understand how you’re bad at parking,” Soileau said. “It’s so easy. You just whip around, I just don’t understand. And some of them are so bad, like, how can you get it that wrong?… You will not see me on that parking page because I actually know how to park.”

Followers of the page have left comments regarding the parkers and even the page itself, such as “These aren’t funny,” “Average Silverado owner,” “Wow and he’s even rude enough to park in the handicapped spot,” and “This page should be called gehs.justcarinsults_”. 

“Our goal, in the end, is to keep it interesting and make people laugh,” the owners of the bad parking page said.

The bad parking page set off a chain reaction and many other accounts were created to catch obscure things at GEHS. These pages essentially require students to send in pictures of their peers to post and caption. The overall goal of these pages can be taken in a light-hearted manner; however, students commenting on these pages have different opinions.

“These aren’t even funny, find something better to do with your time,” said a commenter on an account created to post people with the “fakest” tans.

Pages created to make fun of other students, such as one dedicated to the “fakest” people at GEHS, as well as the “fakest tans” page, has received negative attention.

“I was recently put on the fakest people page,” junior Abbi Oldham said. “This page was meant to call out students who are fake. Seeing that someone had put me on the page immediately upset me. It made me question everything I had ever said to anyone and my mental health instantly declined. I walked around thinking everyone hated me. I was hurt that someone truly thought these things about me and the need to publicize them.

Oldham was able to remain positive and attempted to get the account reported with the help of some of her friends.

“Eventually, I responded to the page in a kind manner,” Oldham said. “[I told] the person who ran the page ‘everyone deserves kindness, no matter who they are.’ I also commented kind comments to counteract the mean ones. I then asked a bunch of my friends to report the page with me.”

Many pages have been shut down, but more continue to be put up. As of now, there are good and bad parking pages, a drama page, a bad outfits page, a page catching PDA, a page showing things students have drawn in bathroom stalls, and many more.

“These pages completely go against what our school should stand for,” Oldham said. “We are supposed to be a family that stands together. We are not supposed to degrade each other.”

These anonymous pages do have an effect on the students that are posted on them and although some are light-hearted, others harm the mental health of other students.

“There are many students, including myself, who are struggling with depression, anxiety, abuse, PTSD, ADHD, etc. every day,” Oldham said. “They have battles to fight, and their peers’ cruelty should not be one of them.”

While some interpret the pages negatively and believe they need to be taken down, others, like junior Lily Godsil, believe they should stay up under certain conditions.

“These pages completely go against what our school should stand for. We are supposed to be a family that stands together. We are not supposed to degrade each other.””

— Abbi Oldham

“I think the majority of these pages aren’t doing any harm, so they shouldn’t be taken down, as they are in good fun,” Godsil said. “I think they could be more positive if the things they were sharing lifted others rather than calling people out.”

Godsil believes that the pages should have an implication of positivity and should not aim to harm others. While the bad parking page owners joke about the content of their posts, they also post in support of different school fundraisers and do not aim to harm the subjects of the posts. Submissions are also not accepted unless the license plates are covered.

“I think some [pages] are entertaining, but if they are degrading a person for something they can’t change, I think it promotes harassment and bullying,” Godsil said. “The people who park badly getting called out is funny, as it is something that can be fixed or changed.”

Some of these pages have taken it too far to the point where student privacy has been invaded. A page that posts images of people’s feet under bathroom stalls has recently been made private after being reported by several users on Instagram.

“One sort of disturbing [page] is this one where people take pictures of people’s shoes in the bathroom,” Godsil said. “Like, it’s not that bad, but it’s somewhat unsettling because you don’t expect someone to pull their phone out and take a picture of your feet when you’re simply trying to use the bathroom.”

Gardner-Edgerton High School has a zero-tolerance rule for bullying, and the work of the students to get some of these pages taken down is evident of that rule.

“You should spend every day loving each other, being kind, and lifting your peers up,” Oldham said. “You never know who may need your smile.”