New outlet of rebellion through social media


It was a hot, dry night in the middle of July, and as I was about to fall asleep, I received a text around midnight. “Dude, I’m freaking out I literally just posted such a dumb photo to my real Instagram that I meant to post on my private… and [his girlfriend at the time] screenshotted it and got soooo mad at me.”

Now, you may think to yourself, why would he post this on social media? Shouldn’t he have known he was going to get caught? Well, I believe that while his girlfriend may have every right to be mad, one cannot be mad at my friend for his post. He needs the social media outlet to post freely.

When my friend refers to his “real Instagram,” he is talking about an account that is meant for the public to see. He might post photos with friends, or a picture of the delicious sandwich he ate earlier that day. These are posts that he’s comfortable with the public seeing.

danny private

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His “private” Instagram, however, is an account that has fewer followers, a clever username, and most importantly, scandalous or risqué pictures. Often, people have private accounts so they can post photos for only a select number of people to see.

Common posts that surface on private accounts include photos of alcohol, drugs, selfies accompanied by rants about irritating people, or friends in minimal clothing.

As kids in an era of social media, we are often warned about the danger of posting risky photos. We were taught to err on the safe side by posting photos that we wouldn’t mind our own grandmothers seeing.

But we are teenagers. Many of us will rebel at any opportunity, and this is why I believe private Instagram pages are safe accounts to have. It is important that high schoolers have a protected social media account to post whatever they feel without risk.

With our constant use of social media, rampant consumption of alcohol, and risky actions, it is unrealistic to expect that high school students will not post scandalous photos.

I have heard many stories of teens who posted public photos of themselves drinking alcohol and got rejected from their dream college or job as a result. With a private instagram, however, one does not share their name, so neither colleges nor jobs can find them. It makes for the perfect outlet for a rebellious teen to use social media without the risk of being looked down upon by an employer or admissions office.

Though private accounts allow for a safe place to post more risky pictures, they also run the risk of being screenshotted. With a mere two-finger click, the screenshot can ruin a friendship in the blink of an eye.

While there may be better outlets of rebellion, I fully support the use of private Instagram accounts. As social media plays a huge part of today’s teenage culture, private accounts allow for a safe place to express rebellion.