Peek-a-boo, I See You: The Anonymous Pages That Live In Our Minds Rent Free

Unmasking Atlantic High’s anonymous page operators

Behind every trend is a story, and the reputable TikTok leaves its audience with an abundance of stories to follow. From dangerous and ludicrous trends to amusing ones that arouse laughter, the time-draining algorithm keeps all engaged.

Be it TikTok, Instagram, or Snapchat, social media platforms have a grasp on GenZ and if the trends aren’t performed by some, they are being followed by others. With the latest trend, anonymous pages, taking over high schools all over the globe, now more than ever students are glued to their phones, wondering if they’ve fallen victim to the next anonymous account.

At Atlantic Community High School, these trends are no strangers. @atl_sleeping and @atl_eating are amongst the most popular anonymous pages on the school’s campus and while some have found amusement in the ordeal, a few students are left upset.

“I think it’s an invasion of privacy, people may just want to sleep without being bothered yet they can’t have that peace of mind when random students are snagging pictures,” says one student regarding the anonymous account that posts pictures of students sleeping.

@atl_sleeping is also run by an anonymous operator, however, it receives its content from other students who sneak pictures of their classmates and send them via direct message to the account to be exposed. Tyler, a student at Atlantic High school, feels that students sending in pictures are essentially the ones responsible for the account’s popularity and therefore should not complain about their appearances on the platform.

Some are upset, some find it amusing but all are eager to learn of the identity of the account’s operator. For weeks, at the account’s prime, students spoke of the possible operators and not once have they come close. Yet with the powers of persuasion and communication, I was able to unmask the operator and get insight on the reason behind the creation of @atl_sleeping.

During an interview with the operator who chose to remain anonymous, they revealed that they drew inspiration from TikTok after seeing another school’s sleeping account.

“I tried to make sure that the account would be as harmless as possible, since I didn’t want anyone to be uncomfortable by the post; I just wanted it to be a page that could include as a whole,” said the operator. According to many students, the page is harmless, however a few students take offense to being featured on the page. To accommodate for this, the operator has placed a note on the page’s bio stating “DM for removal !!!” They do honor that statement as many students had their pictures removed.

“I’m happy where the account is now especially since I did not think it would gain that many

followers in the first place. I remember being genuinely surprised a while back when the

number of followers grew larger than the amount I have on my personal account, which

really isn’t a lot, so it’s surprising to think about right now. To be honest, I’m mainly happy that people are actively interacting with the account and continue to send in submissions,” they said.

To all 767 watchers, you have made @atl_sleeping what it is, so sleep tight, but with one eye open because this trend will not die anytime soon and in the meantime peek-a-boo!

Written by Kate Payen, with special thanks to Amanda Jesuca and Deborah Augustin

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