CG IG accounts: When do they cross the line?


Where do we draw the line between harmless Instagram posts and cyberbullying? This is the current question facing many high school students and administrators with the uproar over CG-related Instagram accounts.

I took a tally of all the accounts that I could find and found there to be around 13. Ever since students have been getting caught and suspended for their social media posts, more and more of them have gone private or deactivated.

I had the opportunity of speaking to two runners of the popular “CG Sleeps” page. This account showcases videos and photos of students at Cary-Grove who have fallen asleep around the school and in class.

Similar to the “Cary-Grove Bad Parking” page, CG Sleeps are generally harmless and light-hearted. Despite all of that, I was curious to see what the intentions were behind each of these accounts.

“The fellow account runners and I drew inspiration based off of other accounts like CG Bad Parking and what-not. Making these Instagram pages is a huge trend on Tik Tok and other socials, so we wanted to join in on the fun,” said a CG Sleeps account runner.

It’s pretty self explanatory to follow what’s trending, but when it comes to the ethics of their actions, it can make the account runners truly question if what they’re doing is right.

“While I do occasionally think about the feelings of the people we’ve posted, I wouldn’t care if it was me (on the account),” the account runner said. “But I do care. If someone complained, the other account runners are fully prepared to immediately delete the post and apologize to anyone offended by what we feel is a funny post.”

Seeing a level of empathy from the creators of these accounts is refreshing and definitely breaks the stigma of them being Internet trolls. Unfortunately, some accounts like “CG Yassified” and several thirst accounts dedicated to specific staff members have discouraged other wholesome accounts from posting due to the discipline that kids are receiving for trolling.

There is general consensus on what can be taken as a joke, and something that crosses the line. Where exactly we draw that line can be a little tricky to navigate, however. Technically speaking, accounts like CG Sleeps could face similar punishments like the account runner of CG Surreal Memes, because both accounts post photos and videos without the full consent of the person in the post.

There is a large difference between the type of content that is posted on these two accounts, but when it comes down to it, there is no guarantee or proof that every single post has been consented to by each individual captured in said post. That means that the runners of mild accounts could face the same discipline as those who run truly offensive ones.

That may seem over-the-top, but truthfully, it only takes one photo – just one person and one post to get legal authorities involved. By then you end with a huge, complicated mess, and all for one insignificant post that no one is going to remember. 

I was actually the first post on the CG Sleeps account. I technically gave no permission to post it to the person who took the photo or any of the account runners, but it’s not like I cared in the first place. But they didn’t know that. That’s the risky part of this whole ordeal, because some people struggle with speaking up when they’re uncomfortable.

“We currently do not blur faces in the background of the photos, but we could if it was a huge concern. Like I said before, if someone asked for the photo to be taken down, we would be more than happy to, but that hasn’t been much of an issue,” says another account runner of CG Sleeps.

While their explanation for non-consensual content seemed reasonable, it didn’t address the question if there was something that they could improve on currently to prevent future situations like that. If the account runners wait until a problem arises, it might be too late to avoid serious consequences.

You could potentially be charged, kicked out of extracurriculars, rejected from job interviews/internships, and face other disciplinary actions for an inconsequential photo. Looking at it overall, it seems like such an enormous risk for such little gain.

What are the creators of these accounts truly receiving? It’s possible they’re in it for popularity, but they remain anonymous. It’s not like they are compensated for their content, and they certainly aren’t earning brand deals.

I wondered if they gained more confidence once people validated how funny and relatable their posts were. Hearing people talk up your account in front of you without them knowing it’s you is surely a good feeling.

I think that, generally speaking, most people can identify right from wrong. While we can agree that most teachers and students are fans of, or at least indifferent to, trivial accounts like CG Bad Parking, CG Senior Bench, and CG Sleeps, other accounts, such as CG Yassified and ones dedicated to targeting specific individuals, are just plain garbage.

“We are proud of the work we have put into this account, but if we have hurt or offended anyone, we truly apologize and hope that you would bring it to our attention,” said an account runner.

That quote encapsulates the dying trend of these Instagram accounts. At the end of the day, it’s a bunch of teenagers having fun with their school culture without hurting anyone for the most part. Once it gets to that point, it will get shut down and like all trends, it too will die. The crackdown on these meme accounts have made them less and less popular, so inevitably, people will stop making them.

My point is that most of these accounts are inconsequential and it’s pretty clear what’s meant to be a joke, and what’s just plain wrong. Not only are the account runners aware of this fact, but the students are too. School and life are hard enough. We shouldn’t have to take everything so seriously all the time.

The school is attempting to do a decent job of shutting down the accounts that go too far, while leaving up the wholesome ones. Perhaps, less severe punishments for the account holders could be a positive change.

Depending on the severity of the account, coming down hard on someone and taking away all their opportunities, such as clubs, may only teach them to hate the system that’s punishing them. They could feel even more justified in doing what they did, and that is not productive.

I just feel that a level of sympathy should be present when dealing with kids. Yes, they can be extremely immature and sometimes you question if they have any common sense, but at the end of the day, they are still kids. The faculty should encourage growth and learning, especially when we make mistakes, even big ones.