Hate On Instagram

Salina Thongsisavath, Reporter

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Cyberbullying is nothing new to the world. Every teenager has some sort of social media app downloaded to their phone. Whether it’s to text their friends, share photos, or reconnect with family members, teenagers have their eyes glued to their screens. However, these apps can easily become a source of frustration and stress. 

Based on a poll taken by 102 people on Instagram, 42% of people said they have experienced cyberbullying. Based on another poll taken by 111 people, another 42% of people said they have been harassed online. People could easily make a new, fake account to use to send hateful comments to another user. Instagram, however, does have a method of dealing with reports. When someone reports a user on Instagram, it is completely anonymously, and the person you reported is not notified. After the report is sent, someone from Instagram’s team will investigate the reported account. 

“My friend and I got into a really complicated argument and he cussed me out then refused to talk about it. He then started commenting rude things on my posts and said I should kill myself but I just ended up blocking him without reporting him,” Selena Vixayvong said. Vixayvong says she feels like social media is a very peculiar place where anyone could be anything. “Fake accounts used to message me and say a bunch of rude things to me all the time,” Vixavong says. “I accidentally made one of my friends mad at me once and now everyone’s talking about me.”

Although Instagram offers its users the opportunity to report users, most teenagers choose to ignore or block these comments instead of reporting it. 

“A few girls thought that I made an account that bullied them but it wasn’t me. I still got repercussions and they shunned me and texted each other about me which I eventually found out about,” says Elizabeth O’Shea. “I told my mom and she tried to talk to the other girls’ parents which actually made it worse because the girls’ got in trouble and were even more mad at me. Eventually, I was only able to deal with it through giving it time and I’m actually not friends with some of them to this day.” After asked if Elizabeth ever tried to report the account, she responded with, “Yes, I tried to report the account but it didn’t get taken down.”

Teenagers are recommended to spend two hours a day on their phones. However, according to a poll held on Instagram, teenagers spend 30 minutes to over six hours on Instagram! Teenagers spend an average of two and a half hours on Instagram alone. What do teenagers do on social media? 

“I just scroll through my feed and check my messages. I like to see what’s happening with everyone and sometimes I make new friends from all around the world… Australia, Canada, Guam, and even China. Also, I like to check up on my favorite artists to see what new songs they’ve been working on.” says 14 years old Dallas Suliafu. 

“I spend about three hours collectively on Instagram. I just like text my friends and look on the explore page for self-care tips, life hacks, relatable threads, and memes,” says Hanna Mikaella.

Most teenagers are on Instagram to catch up with friends, make new friends, and look at memes. 

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