Editorial, Issue 5 – Volume CXI – Has @FWP Gone Too @FAR?

Has @FWP Gone Too @FAR?

Everyday a new “@fwp___” account seems to be created. It started with the fabulous @fwpfits. At this point, this trend has seemingly gone out of control, with accounts ranging from @fwp.maskless and @fwpbackofyourhead. If Parker had a student parking lot, there would probably be an @fwpparkingreviews too.

Accounts starting with “@fwp” are nothing new — there have been accounts made by students for sports teams, clubs, committees, and college decisions. These new accounts, however, come after a nation-wide craze of high school accounts covering a different side of student life. 

These accounts start by following students and waiting for a follow back, which lets it quickly gain followers as it starts to post. They’re anonymous, though for some accounts like @fwpfits the  account owner has been identified.

What sets @fwpfits apart from @fwpbackofyourhead, @fwpnaps, and the now defunct @fwpdating, @fwpships, @fwpbathroomshoes, and @fwpfeet, is consent. @fwpfits administrator Kiran Mathew takes submissions and asks permission to take photos of students in the hallways or in class. In every @fwpfits photo, the subjects are posing or smiling, contrary to students unwittingly photographed while napping or on their way to the bathroom. 

@fwpfeet and @fwpbathroomshoes posted photos of people’s shoes from under bathroom stalls, and though none of the photos showed people’s faces, a few commenters guessed at whose shoes they were. Latin’s version of the account, @latin_bathroom_feet has amassed more than 200 followers. @fwpbackofyourhead posted 30 head-shots in the first three days.

@fwpdating, which was created and seemingly deactivated within 48 hours, shows a different side of the same coin. The account asked for submissions of people who have dated or broken up. Students could DM the account with the names of two students and the gossip would be posted, regardless of whether the students were actually dating or whether they wanted their business to be public. 

Many students find the suspense of seeing whether they got away with an MX nap or whose shoes end up on @fwpfeet next amusing. The accounts wouldn’t have so many followers if students didn’t find them entertaining, but some accounts go too far —far enough for many to get deleted just a few days after they start posting. 

Gossip about other students’ relationships and sleeping habits happens offline, but the accounts, many of which are publicly accessible by anyone, have a digital footprint that make photos of Parker students’ feet in the bathroom accessible to almost everyone.

While the classic field trip advice to be on your best behavior to show off Parker may feel unnecessary, many of these accounts are clearly not following that guideline. For anyone, Parker students or otherwise, the idea of students bending over to take photos under bathroom stalls or tiptoeing to get a pic for @fwpnaps without waking their peer up is strange and violating. 

This fad of obscure Instagram accounts will probably be over as quickly as it started, but the issues of consent and social media will still persist. The Code of Conduct in the handbook states that “Parker does not monitor students’ social media activity; however, students are expected to uphold the standards of the Parker community in person and online. The school reserves the right to respond with disciplinary action to online behavior that violates our community norms and interferes with the daily operations of the school.”

With these accounts, students must be mindful of what’s being posted—whether they are running the account or submitting pictures. These accounts can be a great vehicle for connections between students in different grades and for lighthearted fun, but not when pictures are being posted without the consent of students. 

Many of the accounts would be well served to be private, but some things are meant to be completely private offline too. Students should be allowed to share who they’re dating rather than see a possible rumor posted about them. Everyone should be able to go to the bathroom without a phone camera taking a photo of them from underneath. 

What about leaving our peers to nap in peace (or wake them up if it’s in the middle of a class)? Rather than staring at pictures of other students’ heads in the hallway, what if we look up as we walk and notice the shoes that can be found on @fwpfeet that are right in front of us?