My experience running DGS Affirmations account
December 7, 2022
Last year there was an influx of DGS meme accounts. Student-run Instagram accounts like DGS Foot, DGS Confessions and DGS Affirmations surged in popularity, amassing hundreds of followers. The posts ran everything from pictures of students sleeping, gossip blogs and memes about the Downers Grove community and were all incredibly popular amongst the student body. The most popular of these accounts was DGS affirmations, an Instagram account sharing jokes about DGS, which was run by me.
I started the account in November of last year, inspired from Downers Grove North’s account, DGN Affirmations.
DGS Affirmations was filled with ironic statements: “I will not dissociate during class today” and “I did not fail my physics test” were some of the page’s most popular. The posts were satire on the dysfunctionalities of DGS, pointing out our community’s flaws in a lighthearted way.
The account started to take a surge in popularity after students began reposting my content to their personal Instagram stories. The new exposure garnered the account a wider audience, and the Instagram page quickly surpassed 1,000 followers.
Senior Heidi Mendoza remembers the account fondly.
“I liked the account, it was really funny. It wasn’t harmful, it was a little fun. I think it gave [DGS students] a sense of community because we would all share the posts. It was nice to see everyone come together even if it was just to make fun of the school,” Mendoza said.
The account was a highlight of my time at DGS. Seeing my classmates show each other my page and sharing the posts online gave us all a sense of community, and of course it was amusing to see the posts shared by my peers without them knowing it was me.
However, the account came to a standstill during May of last year. DGS Affirmations had amassed over 1,600 followers, and the viral nature of the account had made it so the majority of students had seen it. Unfortunately, this meant the account had garnered the attention of the DGS staff as well.
Student-run accounts were beginning to get shut down left and right by the school. The owner of DGS Sniffs had posted [Due to an encounter with the dean, we will be shutting down our account].
Fear began radiating through my bones. My account–my pride and joy, my celebrity status–was it all to be stripped from me? The worrying consumed me, and in order to prevent myself from having an encounter with the dean, I made the decision to terminate the account myself.
My empire had fallen, all my hard work was gone. And though it was my own doing, I was curious as to why the school was attempting to shut down school-related accounts.
DGS Dean Dr. Bryan Heap explained the situation to me.
“In short, it’s a liability. It’s hard when the accounts mention the school but aren’t affiliated with it, it makes it difficult to maintain the accounts. There’s always a concern for bullying and student-directed attacks,” Heap said.
Of course he was right. It would be naive to say DGS Affirmations was without its faults. For each light-hearted post about my hatred for physics, there were about 20 more submissions directed at other students; the account could have quickly become a hate page if I wasn’t careful. It was a fine-line to walk, and if I were to slip, I could have really hurt somebody.
I’m proud of DGS Affirmations, I still stand by a majority of the jokes I made on that account, but almost a year later, I believe the account had its time and place, and that time is now over. The last thing our school community needs is space for hate to be spread, and I’m pleased to say DGS Affirmations was shut down before it ever became that.
Instead of the account becoming corrupted, it maintains a fond memory for the students who followed the page. Junior Olivia Poplawska was eager to share her memories of the account.
“It wasn’t a DGS hate page at all really, it was more of an appreciation for the school’s faults. It made us come together as a school community, I’ll always remember it for that,” Poplawska said.