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The unique, furious critics on ASU's social media pages

Social media users hold nothing back when posting, and Sun Devils are no different

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ASU's well intentioned Instagram post asking followers to describe the first week of school in one word was met with brutally honest responses. Photo illustration published Aug. 28, 2020.


"Terrifying," "Eughhhh" and "Great!" are fairly typical words to describe the start of a new school year, but "Iwassurprisedhumansarenotextinct" isn't.

The listed adjectives — or, emotions — were all comments underneath ASU's Thursday Instagram post asking followers to describe the first week of school in one word. 

Despite ASU's perceived good intentions, the comment section was overwhelmingly filled with students saying they felt stressed, scared or ripped off. Of the first 60 comments underneath the post, less than 10 appeared to be excited or happy about the beginning of the fall semester, and that is counting "Insane *insert fire emoji*" as a positive comment. 

Buried by comments describing the first week as "Prison-like" and "Authoritarian" were some positive comments, such as "Thrilling" and "Adaptable."

The top comment, "shouldntbeinperson" by @macsavard, has over 100 likes and another 24 replies below the comment of angry Instagrammers fighting over whether or not in-person classes should be happening.

"Parents were responding underneath my post saying I should just stay home and stop spreading lies," said Mackenzie Savard, a sophomore studying interior design and @macsavard on Instagram. "But they aren't seeing what's actually happening on the inside."

The social media blitz doesn't stop on Instagram, and some could argue it gets worse on Twitter. 

Complaints from Twitter users range from the University's lack of transparency on University-wide COVID-19 data to inconsistent communication. 

One way to draw a speedy response from a representative is to tag @ASU on Twitter. From concerns over long phone call wait times to ASU's COVID-19 wastewater tracking in direct competition with UA, the University's Twitter response team is quick with an answer.

Many tweets that tagged @ASU were met with a response detailing the University's protocol, which involved reporting their positive COVID-19 cases by zip code to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Some even were posted in the face of others saying that zip code data simply wasn’t enough.

ASU repeatedly commented, “We want to be clear” in their responses, but some users were quick to fire back when they disagreed.


"girl read the room," @purejayroine wrote after ASU posted that it was "in the top 1% of universities worldwide" for quality of education and faculty. 

ASU did not publicly respond to @purejayroine on Twitter, nor did it publicly respond to any Instagram users who commented on the first week of school post.


Most opinionated social media users fall into one of two pools: those who believe the University's plan is doable, and those who think it is "really foolish," as Savard put it.

"If ASU really thinks they can keep a handle on the virus, they're not using their brains," Savard said.

Though some express disdain, ASU can count on Twitter user @HamsterRj to consistently comment "ForksUp…..Sun Devil," no matter the post.


Jeffrey Horst contributed to the reporting of this article


Reach the reporters at eborst@asu.edu and follow @ellieeborstt on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.


Ellie BorstExecutive Editor 2021-22

Ellie Borst is the executive editor of The State Press, overseeing the publication and its four departments: online, magazine, multimedia and engagement. She plans to graduate in May 2022 with her master's in legal studies and got her bachelor's in journalism in 2021. Previous roles she has held since joining SP in 2018 include digital managing editor, magazine managing editor, community and culture desk editor, and arts and culture reporter.


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