It has been a little over a year since @wjc_memes made its first post on Instagram. Not long after that, @wjc_memes became the talk of the campus. The page reached 100 followers within a few weeks of its first post. Now, the page has garnered over 900 followers and has been a consistent presence on the Instagram feeds of many William Jewell College students. The page recently requested another interview with The Hilltop Monitor, and we were happy to oblige. I reached out to the secretive owner of the account to get an update on the page.
“The creative process has been challenging,” @wjc_memes said in regards to how the new school year and COVID-19 have impacted their mindset when it comes to running the page.
“I don’t wanna just make a bunch COVID-related memes (there’s plenty of other stuff around campus to make fun of). The mindset remains the same: give students something to laugh about, especially now when it can be hard to do that,” @wjc_memes said.
The fact that @wjc_memes has persisted for over a year at this point, especially when other Jewell-based social media accounts like a Jewell confessions account and a parody account of Jewell’s president, Dr. Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, have burnt out quickly after their creation, is surprising. I asked the page creator about these controversies and how @wjc_memes has been able to stay relatively free of controversy for so long, both within the administration and among students.
“I felt like I made my stance toward those pages [the Jewell confessions and the parody MacLeod Walls accounts] pretty clear. Ultimately it comes down to the underlying purpose of why these pages exist. For those Twitter pages, as far as I can tell, the purpose was to create drama. The purpose of @wjc_memes has always been to give Jewell students something to laugh about. More often than not that does not involve controversy (sometimes it has), but I think the drive to be a positive influence on campus is what has set this page apart from others,” @wjc_memes said.
@wjc_memes is looking to spread laughter to as many people on campus as possible, and on a campus as small as Jewell’s, an influx of new students provides the best opportunity for @wjc_memes to grow.
“I’m pleasantly surprised at how well new students have responded to the page. Recently there have been a lot of high schoolers committed to Jewell who have followed the page, which I think is hilarious,” @wjc_memes said. “I think it’s interesting because last year the page was the new thing that everyone picked up, but for the first-years it’s just another part of the Jewell experience, and that was a big milestone for me.”
Along with that, @wjc_memes discussed its upcoming goals for this school year.
“I would like to see consistent growth on the page, but I also understand that there’s a limiting factor of how many students there are. I would say the main goal is to be relatively active on a week-to-week basis, and see where it goes from there,” @wjc_memes said.
When people talk about @wjc_memes on campus, one question always comes up: who runs the account? The person or persons who run @wjc_memes have remained a mystery since the very beginning, and some students have been working hard to figure it out. There have been several theories floating around on campus. I decided to ask @wjc_memes if they have heard any theories that they found interesting or if there were some that were close to the truth.
“I won’t name names, but the guesses that some people have thrown out are interesting to see, to say the least. Some people have point-blank [direct messaged] the page with their theories. There are definitely certain students at Jewell that are more likely to be suspected of running it, but I will answer the same way I did last year: No one has been 100% correct with their guesses yet, and it’s more complicated than everyone has suggested so far,” @wjc_memes said.
This raises the question: why the anonymity and mystery when it comes to the identity of who runs the page?
“More than anything, it comes down to my preference to compartmentalize the two,” @wjc_memes said. “If people found out who ran the page, people wouldn’t see it the same way. It’s like watching a magic trick and then seeing how it’s done, it takes the fun out of it. I have personal reasons to keep the two separate as well, but for the most part, it’s about keeping it fun for the students.”
@wjc_memes certainly has done that. The page provides a consistent source of laughter and discussion among students whenever a new post drops. If you do not already follow @wjc_memes on Instagram, I highly suggest you do. We all could use a bit more laughter in the world right now.