The toxic energy surrounding Instagram

Cyber bullying is impacting more students with the new generation, and a common platform used is Instagram.


Jordan Mayo

Dalton Deerie, a junior at Highland Highschool, browsing through his Instagram in Mrs. Greco's room. This was taken during fifth hour on October 15.

Sophie Gagnon, Jordan Mayo, and Hannah Allen

Sophia Gagnon
Here is a drawing showing someone who is being cyberbullied on Instagram or social media.

High School students around the globe nowadays experience a new struggle: cyberbullying. Most kids have a form of social media, and one of the most popular ones is Instagram. Despite its original intention of sharing fun photos with friends, Instagram is now a tool used to harass others.

According to, more than one in three youths have been threatened online, and over half of young kids do not tell their parents about the interactions.

We sent out a survey to truly find out how common cyberbullying is among teenagers in our area. We tested 160 high school students from the Idaho area. Overall, the majority of our surveyors were female at 65.4%. There was a lot of representation with grade levels, but the survey was mostly taken by ninth graders.

Out of all the students we surveyed, 14.4% of them had experienced harassment on Instagram. 13.1% have not been bullied on Instagram, but have experienced harassment on other apps. So the majority of our surveyors have not experienced online harassment. However, says that most teens will experience online harassment at some point. With that being said, a reason why so many students have not experienced anything could be due to their age.

The majority of students that had been victims of online bullying were harassed with their race, gender, and appearances as the subject. Some were harassed by strangers, but some were even bullied by close friends that turned on them.

There were several girls that mentioned how they were DMed by older men who demanded inappropriate images. Luckily though, a lot of these girls responded well and avoided these men immediately.

A student that took our survey anonymously gave their opinion on why they think students bully online. They said, “People just say things on the internet because they feel safe and they don’t think that it can come back to hurt them.” Their explanation was not far from the truth because claims that the anonymity of cyberbullying requires less courage and creates an “illusion that bullies won’t get caught”.

A website from Reuters stated that Facebook has taken action in protecting kids in UK schools from online harassment. If Instagram decided to take similar precautions, then most of these negative interactions could be avoided.