By: Karli Banas
From secret crushes and confessions to photos of pets and bad food, numerous anonymous Instagram accounts have formed to reflect the Stevenson community back to itself. Students clearly follow and pay attention to the accounts, but they say they are not always sure they are a good thing.
The accounts became quite popular on campus, even though students are not quite sure who runs them. Su.anon.crushes, su.lovely.rocklandpandinis_, su.pets_, and stevensongeese agreed to answer questions but only via Instagram dm, as they did not want their identities to be revealed.
Each account has its own unique origin story. Stevenson Geese was the first account to be created, back in the Fall of 2020. “Campus was dead and because of COVID we thought it would be funny to give the geese a mean personality on Instagram to try to brighten people’s day.”
SU Pets was created out of boredom. It was inspired by the other Stevenson student-run Instagram pages. Anonymous Crushes was inspired off-campus by a similar page the creators saw for Agnes Scott College. They decided to bring the idea to Stevenson.
The administrator of the Lovely Rockland and Pandini’s page had a more direct goal in mind for their followers. “I’m pretty sure every student has had a bad (dining) experience or even walked out because nothing looked appetizing,” the owner explained, referring to the main campus dining hall at Rockland.
Lovely Rockland and Pandini’s continued to describe how they hope that a dining manager sees the page and can make some sort of change to the food. They emphasized that “Stevenson can do better” in its food preparation.
“Maybe people will have a different perception of the page if there’s a face that goes with it,” the Anonymous Crushes page owner said. In addition to that, the owner said he or she doesn’t feel comfortable having the attention on them.
The owner of the SU Pets page had a different reason for staying anonymous. “I like to keep things more of a mystery,” they said while at the same time admitting that roommates and a couple of friends know that it is them that runs the account.
“I don’t want anything to trace back to me or affect my future as a Mustang,” the owner of Lovely Rockland and Pandini’s said, insisting no one at all knows that they run the page.
While anonymity online has been known to contribute to bullying and harassment, most of the account holders said they hadn’t had any issues with that. However, Anonymous Crushes said they did have an incident of someone targeting another person.
“Someone submitted a very serious accusation about someone else,” Anonymous Crushes said. “I had to let my followers know that my page isn’t the place for that.”
While the accounts may not be as popular now as they were in previous semesters, students still seem to enjoy their posts.
“I look at them whenever they post, I’m always up to date,” junior Kirsten Blades said. “I have seen things about people I know, and I like to tag them in the comments to see if they’ve seen it.”
Blades also said that she doesn’t find the confessions very reliable. With the senders being anonymous it’s hard to know if they are serious or playing a joke on a friend. However, Blades finds the pages trustworthy in one respect. They always provide “a good laugh,” she said.