Blue Valley’s students and staff are witness to the implications of new “exposed” accounts and other repercussions of the social media craze

Caught well outside the lines in the parking lot, caught snoozing in class or simply caught off guard by rumors both whispered in halls and plastered on social media accounts, BV students must consider the consequences of being spotted in their everyday lives. As a new genre of Instagram accounts compounds the already complex virtual world, a “who-dun-it” ensues around Blue Valley, reminiscent of none other than the famed series Gossip Girl. Whether these modern gossip girls and guys are just a phase or here to stay, you know you love them. Read on to hear more about all things Instagram, gossip, and everything in between from us located on the upper east side of BV — the Tiger Print. 

Paparazzi Profiles

In recent months, there has been an increase in “exposed” Instagram accounts for BV students. Whether it be @bvhs.slumped,
@bvsideprofiles or one of the many accounts dedicated to revealing sub par or “abnormally good” parking jobs, these accounts have caught the attention of many. 

Photo courtesy of BVHS Badparking

Junior Eleanor Warren believes these “exposed” accounts are run by other students and receive content from her fellow students as well. Warren herself was posted on @bvhs_badparking after a peer DMed the account.

“I should not have been featured — it was an amazing parking job,” Warren said. “The parking lot was completely full, so I decided to park in the grass instead. One of my other friends took a picture of my parking on the grass and sent it in.”

Whilst Warren sarcastically brushed off the ridicule of her parking abilities, she agrees the exposing platforms could have some negative impacts.

“I don’t really mind [being featured] because it’s my car, but if it was BVHS Side Profiles or BVHS slumped, that’d be really awkward,” Warren said. “One of my friends threatened to send me in for that, but I wouldn’t let her. I feel like if it was a picture of me, I would feel a lot more exposed — but since it’s my car, no one really cares.”

Warren said being unwillingly featured or having one’s privacy invaded on the accounts is a negative aspect to consider but overall believes the “exposed” accounts are simply light-hearted fun.

“Some of the positives are that they’re funny, and it’s a good way to mess with people if they’re OK with it — but also, everyone has to be always alert and can’t take a little nap in class,” Warren said. “They’re funny, but there are definitely some negative aspects.”

All eyes on us

With social media being a public outlet to the lives of millions, it is necessary for athletes to uphold a certain standard when posting on these platforms. Although this goes for any athlete representing a respected organization, BV’s cheerleaders have felt the weight of this criteria.

Photo submitted by Gwen Helfry

Cheerleader junior Gwen Helfry is among many who find themselves in the spotlight in regards to posts on their platforms.

“I definitely have to uphold a certain standard when posting on social media because our coach follows our Instagrams so she can see everything we’re posting,” Helfry said. “I can’t post everything I would like to because there’s so many people that can see it, and I’m representing the school rules.”

Most of these restrictions pertain to appropriate language and overall portrayal of oneself in the media. 

“We’ve had some rules for TikTok — even Instagram and Snapchat — just not making videos or using sounds that have profanity or bad language in it,” she said. “We can get demerits for what we post. After three demerits, you can get benched. It depends on the severity of what you’re posting and how many times you’ve broken the rule.”

Helfry and her teammates have experienced first hand the result of disobeying these standards.

“My freshman year, when TikTok was kind of big, our coaches found our TikTok accounts and went through all of them to see what we were posting,” Helfry said. “Many of us had TikToks to songs with bad language or it was inappropriate, so we were banned for a game.”

The strictness of these guidelines tends to bother Helfry, especially when compared to other involvements at BV.

“All the girls in our cheer program do a really nice job of holding each other accountable for what we post,” she said. “There’s been many times where girls in our program have been held accountable for posting something when there’s guys or people in other sports at our school that have never gotten any sort of consequence and just aren’t being watched like we are.”

When looking at these firm principles, Helfry said it seems as though some flexibility in the matter would make it more reasonable to those applicable.

“If I could change one rule, it would probably be that we don’t have to have our coach accepted on all of our social media accounts and platforms,” she said. “It’d be nice to have a little bit more freedom of what we can post and express ourselves like everyone else does without all the extra eyes on us.”

Ring, ring: distractions calling

In recent years, Blue Valley has seen an increase in cell phone use among students.

As an adult in the building, math teacher Tim Kennedy is no stranger to the issue of cell phones in the classroom and the negative effects they have on learning environments.

“I think [cell phones] hurt attention, and the less attention, the less learning that goes on,” Kennedy said. “I am 100% sure that if the cell phone is put away and it’s not near them, the learning will be higher.”

In order to keep devices out of students’ hands during class, many teachers have implemented the use of the phone caddy to physically remove students from the temptation of a screen. Though this technique has proven to be successful, Kennedy knows it is not a long-term solution.

“We’re doing the right thing by taking cell phones away,” Kennedy said. “But at some point, all of us have to learn how to live with this and learn how to be respectful with a cell phone.”

Kennedy believes changing the approach to cell phones in the classroom, especially with upperclassmen, will help prepare students for a future beyond high school.

“The students, and us as people, have to be able to handle it,” he said. “We want to prepare for college — they’re going to be able to have cell phones in their pockets, and they have to learn how to handle themselves.”

Though Kennedy believes the handheld devices are destructive to learning, he said the fault can’t be placed solely on individuals.

“I have a hard time blaming the kids anymore because it is a societal addiction, and I have the same problem,” Kennedy said. “That’s something that we all have to get better at — not just students, but teachers and everybody.”

As the second semester continues, Kennedy urges students to follow the directions of their teachers in order to create a productive learning environment. He also, however, hopes students do not feel ashamed because of the culture they experience.

“I believe what is right is when you’re in a room and you’re supposed to be doing something, you do that,” Kennedy said. “When you’re on your own, there’s nothing wrong with being on a cell phone — that’s part of what [students] have grown up with. You don’t know anything different.”

Bird Man?

Fan accounts are more than documenting celebrities’ lavish lifestyles and posting aesthetic edits of them; they are also used to feature student athletes throughout their seasons. Instagram accounts run by BV students have been popping up left and right, and one features basketball player junior Jackson Ackerman.

Photo by Isaac Hudson

In November, Ackerman received a follow request from an Instagram page by the tag @thebird_ackerman.

“I found out about the account at the beginning of the season — it was right before the first game,” Ackerman said. “They requested to follow me on Instagram.”

The page typically updates every game day, and in between, the posts contain various content relating to Ackerman. 

“They post pictures of me and motivational quotes,” Ackerman said. “The account has been pretty active, usually with a post every game day. I enjoy the posts because I think they’re pretty funny.”

Ackerman has been playing basketball since his dad introduced it to him when he was 3 years old. Ever since, he’s had a love for the sport and the connections he’s made through it. The account provides him motivation. 

“It makes [me] want to play well because I know there’s somebody watching,” Ackerman said. “Fan accounts are pretty fun, and it connects fans and players.”

Counting Sheep

Back in November 2021, a new kind of Instagram account emerged. Their purpose was to expose fellow students for falling asleep during class on @bvhs_naps. The account first posted on Nov. 30, and since then, has had a steady stream of napping classmates to feature on their posts.

In order to retain anonymity, the owner of the account is still largely unknown, and they plan to keep it that way.

“Even though some people have started to figure it out, I have tried to be very careful with who I tell,” they said. “It has also been hard to not say that I run the account while people are talking about it right in front of me, [which] has happened on multiple occasions.”

Despite the sheer amount of photos being submitted and posted on the account, the owner said they have been fortunate enough to not have anyone ask to have a picture removed.

“I have made it very clear that if anyone wants a photo taken down, I will take it down immediately,” they said. “I even have this in my bio to encourage people to [reach out] if they feel uncomfortable. Message me and I will remove their image — I don’t want anybody [to feel] harassed.”

Luckily for Naps, the stream of new photos hasn’t slowed down much since the beginning of the account in November.

“People send me multiple photos every day,” they said. “I post whenever I have enough photos.”

During the time that these accounts have been running, there has been some competition between the different profiles, such as the Bad Parking and Good Parking accounts and between Naps and Slumped.

“The other accounts are interesting,” the Naps owner said. “The parking accounts are great, and I personally love them. They’re hilarious. On the other hand, the other sleep account, ‘Slumped’ I have no interest in. I really could just care less.”

At the zenith of the accounts, the owner feels the need to succeed was almost too much.

“I think we both felt pressured to get more followers than the other — [Slumped] definitely did not like how I started my account shortly after theirs and accused me of ‘copying their idea,’” they said. “I did not care though because I started to take the account less seriously. This was fun for me because I had previous Instagram algorithm knowledge.”

Photo coutesy of BVHS Naps

Now that the height of the BV Instagram accounts is over, owners of accounts like BVHS Naps have either had to abandon the fad or find some new ways to keep their audience.

“The trend sort of died and I had stopped posting but recently I came up with further plans for the account,” the owner of Naps said. “It will end whenever the road ends.”