Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903

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AFreyd of getting reported

Freya Lindvall

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I’ve known what my senior facebook name was going to be since freshman year.

I, as well as many others in my grade, spent a ton of time brainstorming ideas, sending screenshots of cover photos, and cracking up over creative names. Some contenders included “The Frey” after the band, and “Freytos” like the chips, but I ended up choosing “AFreyd of College.” It embodied the original purpose of senior names with my own spin on it.

Every August seniors flood Facebook with photoshopped cover photos and puns known as “senior Facebook names. Although the original reasoning for this tradition, hiding a profile from college admissions officers during the application process, still sticks, seniors mostly see it as a rite of passage. It’s a way seniors get initate their final year of high school and maintain a sense of humor during the final stretch of the college process. Before becoming a senior, I always loved watching the seniors change their names and creating funny cover photos. There was nothing profound about it, just a great thing to do that was fun and silly.

This August, Parul Sharma became Sharmin Ultra Soft, Gabi Rahmin became RahMean Girls, and James Bauman became The Hunger James. Almost all of these–and more–were reported within a few days. Some were reported within a few hours, other within a few weeks.  Ten days after I changed my own Facebook name, I woke up to a notification saying my account had been reported and shut down for “not following community guidelines.” I wasn’t allowed back on Facebook until I changed my name back.

I’ve been at Horace Mann a long time and seen many grades, including my brother’s, go through senior year with this tradition. It was all good fun until last year when numerous names were reported. Only Horace Mann students had this problem, so the person reporting was likely one of us. One of my peers thinks it’s funny to spoil a tradition that has been going on for so many years. A lot of us take pride in it; there’s even a superlative in the yearbook for funniest name. The fact that someone gets enjoyment out of potentially getting a peer kicked off Facebook for a harmless tradition saddens me. Getting my name reported, amid the stress of college applications, felt like I was being stripped a senior year rite of passage.

It may seem like something small and irrelevant. Those who have already had their names reported in some cases have had to provide legal documentation to keep their accounts. Others aren’t even going to try and change their names because they don’t see the point if they’re just going to be reported. While we may, and probably won’t find out who has been doing this, the important thing to note is that someone feels so insecure that they feel the need to hide behind a screen and ruin something they should be enjoying. What I’m trying to say is, whoever is doing this needs to grow up and find a better use of their time.

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Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903
AFreyd of getting reported