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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Earlier this January, there was a mass amount of snow at Temple University, covering the campus during the first week of classes. In the wake of the snow, there was a ton of ice left on the ground which made for some less-than-ideal conditions when walking to class.  

While some students were slipping and sliding their way to class, other students had different intentions: they were filming every slip, spill, and fall on Polett Walk. On Tiktok, students were being filmed falling across streets and sidewalks, seemingly unaware of the cameras following them. Social media is a huge part of student life at Temple and on one side of these videos, these are just college kids filming their daily experiences and sharing it with their friends.  

On the flip side of this, other students are being filmed without their knowledge or consent and then being turned into internet trends and memes. Not to blow this out of proportion, but if I saw a video of me falling on my a** on my way to class circulating on TikTok, I would be mortified. I can only imagine what the students being filmed feel when their friends share these posts back to them.  

The pressure of the constant surveillance of social media, especially on Temple’s campus, seems to be quickly growing. There are several Instagram accounts dedicated to taking pictures of students at Temple, just simply existing. One of these accounts is the TU Eaters Instagram page, where pictures are taken of students eating around campus. To the credit of the creators of this account, they do state that if someone featured on the account is not happy with their picture, all they need to do is direct message the account and the photo will be deleted. However, the bigger concern to me is, when did we get so comfortable taking and posting pictures of strangers? 

Personally, the thought that every time I eat on campus, someone could be lurking with their phone poised at the ready makes me deeply uncomfortable. The idea that students could be photographing each other working, sleeping, or eating on campus could be passed off as funny when shared with friends. However, posting it for the whole internet to see is another thing entirely. Finding out that secret photos were taken and then distributed can be really damaging for a student’s self-image and confidence.  

Examining why we feel so comfortable posting something about another student anonymously is also another conversation that needs to be had. If every student who posted an unconsented photo or video had an equally embarrassing piece of media posted about them, how would they feel? There is a sense of humor to be found in laughing at ourselves- but at the same time, why are we being constantly surveilled by our own peers? We should all work together to create a kinder space online where the risk of someone capturing your not-so-finest moments is nonexistent.  

Hi! I'm Giovanna. I'm from Philadelphia and I'm an English Major and Temple in my sophomore year. I love reading, writing, music, and crocheting. I'm really excited to be writing for Her Campus this year.