In the fall of 2021, after over a year of remote learning, two students thought Drake needed a little more light-hearted humor on campus. They both created anonymous accounts on Instagram. Both gained a campus-wide fan base within a few months while managing to remain unknown to all except their closest friends.
@drakeuniversityaffirmations first posted to Instagram on Oct. 1, 2021. @griffsdrool launched roughly a month later. Together, they are a part of a growing number of Drake University meme accounts popping up on social media, particularly on Instagram. While @drake.duin, the Instagram account for the Drake satire magazine, DUiN, is the largest and only university-sanctioned account, others like @martymartini64, @drakesquirrels and the quickly defunct @drakebathroomreviews have also gathered followings.
Professor Chris Snider teaches several courses on social media in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He says that the Drake meme accounts are fostering a sense of community among students.
“Anytime someone is being creative and creating content, I am generally for it.” Snider said. “These accounts are meant to be funny, and people recognize it as such, so I don’t see a lot of harm. The community and connection points these accounts create between students are probably a good thing.”
However, he also sees how social media is used to celebrate dunking on people, but does not feel like he sees that from these meme accounts.
“There are so many great things happening at this university, and I think we need social media accounts that will celebrate those victories as well.” Snider said.
@griffsdrool took her inspiration to launch her account from a bigger, semi-similar page run at a university located in her home state. She posts text memes, photoshop edits of pictures and figures around campus and other memes with text edited to be more relatable to what’s happening on campus.
“Usually my ideas come from memes I’ve seen on my explore page. I will just edit them to fit something that involves the university. Otherwise, I also post about my own personal experiences and what I think could possibly be universal,” she said.
@drakeuniversityaffirmations shares a similar beginning to their Instagram page. He seized an opportunity to create the account when affirmations accounts began to gain popularity on the social media app and saw potential in Drake having one of its own.
His content mostly comes from his own original ideas, with occasional input from others.
“I normally ask some of my friends to gauge if they find it funny before posting,” he said. “Some of the affirmations also come from submissions by followers and/or people who know I run the account.”
For both pages, the campus response has been positive.
“I thought that a lot of people were really receptive to my content and that made me pretty happy,” @griffsdrool said. “I honestly just post to post, and don’t pay attention to likes.”
@drakeuniversityaffirmations agrees. “I feel like the general campus response has been great,” he said. “At first, it was hard to gain a following. Then once @griffsdrool somewhat gave me a shoutout, people started following.”
When the two pages struck a friendship over their content, they saw an opportunity to collaborate on posts together. Both accounts began working together shortly after the shoutout.
“I’ve only done collab posts with @drakeuniversityaffirmations, but they were fun!” @griffsdrool said. “It brought us way closer together and we ended up becoming friends because of it. It’s also a lot of fun interacting with the other anonymous accounts because they are all super funny people that are able to create such good content.”