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Features Humans of Drake

Drake anonymous instagram accounts build community through humor

FAC DUNGEON posted a face reveal, but since the account is tied to an idea and not a person, it will live on with a new owner. PHOTO BY Meghan Holloran | photo editor

During his sophomore year, Paul Ching realized that the Harmon Fine Arts Center on campus wasn’t well-maintained. Instead of getting frustrated by it, he decided to make memes and send them to his friend. As he did this more and more often, his friends suggested he make a meme page and suggested the name FAC Dungeon. 

“I was going through the same universal experience that any student that uses FAC goes through, like, man, this place is kind of trashy and there’s really nothing being done about it,” Ching said. “I started that page, and then it slowly started taking off.” 

Ching said there is a sense of community surrounding meme pages. Specifically with FAC Dungeon, he explained that staff, students and alums all follow the page, and even if they may not understand the humor, they understand and sympathize with the situation. 

“It was nice to reach more people,” Ching said.

Ching believes that the specificity of Drake meme pages is what makes them appealing. The pages are not like random meme pages with a million followers that just post general memes, but curate specific content by and for Drake students, which helps to build community and reliability. 

“People can strongly relate to the content that these meme pages post. They’re gonna be sending it to their friends. They’re gonna be reposting it to their stories,” Ching said.

He remembers hearing people talking about the most recent FAC Dungeon post in front of him, which inevitably segued into a conversation about who was behind the account. Ching was even told that some professors were known to offer suggestions for what FAC Dungeon should post about during class. 

“It’s kind of funny that those types of interactions happen, but that’s the type of reach and impact that we’re striving for — that sense of community and people spreading it around,” Ching said. 

As Ching approached graduation, he didn’t want the account to die. He said losing accounts like @martymartini64 was upsetting, so he wanted to find a way to continue the account, but he didn’t feel like he could run it anymore. 

Ching thought that the owner should be a current student at Drake so the content could stay relatable and decided to pass down his account. He posted a face reveal officially announcing his retirement and has been working with the new anonymous owner behind the account to keep it up and running.

“FAC Dungeon is more of an idea. It’s not really tied down to just me,” Ching said. “The content that I was making was the most relatable to the people I was in school with, so now that that generation is kind of phasing out, it’s important for someone else to take up the mantle because they can understand what everyone’s currently going through much better than someone that’s not even at Drake anymore.” 

The new FAC Dungeon account owner said that they hope to continue making funny and relatable content. They said they do not plan to change the content much but hope to reach out and cover more of the visual arts and theater sections of FAC too. 

“My plan right now is really not changing anything, but Paul and I’s sense of humor is pretty different,” FAC Dungeon said. “I feel like it’s not gonna be exactly the same because I can’t create the same content that he did, but on a baseline, it’s gonna be pretty much exactly the same kind of collages of memes, things music or FAC-related.” 

The new FAC Dungeon said they’re eager to take on the account and want to prioritize having fun and building community through humor. 

“I think that’s a good way of poking fun and making jokes about our building and our community,” FAC Dungeon said. 

There are a multitude of Drake meme accounts that vary in popularity. One such account is @griffsdrool. This account has 1,151 followers and 143 posts, but the creator said she doesn’t measure success by likes and followers. 

“I think people tend to like it because I’m not afraid to say whatever is on my mind, no matter how embarrassing or weird, and maybe they feel they can relate in some type of way,” griffsdrool said. “It’s successful for me because I made a community of sorts, and that was all I wanted.” 

Milestones, such as the 1,000 follower mark, showed the creator that her account really did mean something to people and that Drake students were enjoying her content. 

“I really think that [1,000 followers was] a huge turning point for me,” griffsdrool said. “Even though the content can be dumb, I honestly find so much joy in people commenting or DMing me about it. I’m also really happy when people talk about the account and say that it’s relatable because that was my biggest intention.” 

The creator of griffsdrool said she wanted to bring students together with the account. When she saw a similar account for the University of Michigan, she liked the idea of posting their frustrations and relatable content without anyone knowing it was her. 

“I really wanted to see more students interacting online with each other, and overall, I’m really, really happy that I made an account that allows people the comfort of doing that,” griffsdrool said. 

Griffsdrool, FAC Dungeon and Paul Ching all said anonymity is crucial to their account. According to griffsdrool, anonymity allows people to submit content to her without fear of judgment. The creator also values her anonymity because it allows her to post without holding back. 

“I’m scared of everyone knowing and then disliking me because of things I’ve said or judging me for even running a meme page in the first place,” griffsdrool said. “I feel like if people knew the face behind the account, they would be less likely to interact.” 

Ching said he remained anonymous for two reasons: to protect himself from retribution and to keep the magic of meme pages alive. According to Ching, meme pages tend to be anonymous because they allow people to speculate who is behind them and make it more of a first-person experience when reading the memes.

“It was a risk management move on my part. If I’m gonna say all these things, I’m just gonna hide behind anonymity, so I don’t get in trouble or anything,” Ching said. “I don’t think that’ll be the case because I really haven’t said anything scandalous, but you never know.” 

Additionally, the new creator of FAC Dungeon said that maintaining anonymity is a way to eliminate biases. 

“If they know you or don’t know you when there’s a face to it, there’s automatically opinions associated, not just with what you’re creating, but you yourself,” FAC Dungeon said. “I think eliminating that association with a face helps reach a wider audience and make things more fun.”

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