Sleeping students appear on Twitter and Instagram
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 14:03
Taking a nap on campus can be common occurrence, but it isn’t always easy to avoid being seen while doing so. Taking pictures of people sleeping in strange and humorous ways has become a new fad at USU.
Freshmen Jordyn Pope, an elementary education major, and Nicole Muirbrook, an art and photography major, are responsible for this. Pope and Muirbrook are the creators of “Napping Aggies” — Twitter and Instagram accounts dedicated to posting pictures of students catching up on sleep in various places on campus.
Pope is in charge of the Twitter account while Muirbrook handles the Instagram and the submissions through Gmail. Since the start of the 2012 fall semester, more than 1,500 users have followed the account on Instagram and more than 600 on Twitter.
Muirbrook said the idea for the account stemmed from a spur-of-the-moment encounter with an Aggie napper.
“We were walking to class one day back in October and we came across this guy just taking a nap in the middle of the lawn,” Muirbrook said. “We thought it was funny, so we took a picture of him. He woke up, it was awkward and we ran away.” Pope said she thought the picture was funny and decided to post it on her Twitter account.
“It got retweeted by the @AggieLifeFeed account and a bunch of people favorited it and retweeted it, so we thought it would be kind of funny,” she said.
This gave the two an idea to start posting more of the same kind of pictures as a way to entertain people and have lighthearted fun.
“Sleeping in public is kind of breaking a social norm,” Muirbrook said. “There are so many people sleeping in the most random places. Why don’t we take pictures of them all and put them online?”
The two girls had no idea the accounts would catch on as quickly as they did.
“Right after Thanksgiving break, it took off,” Pope said. “It’s all in good fun, so it’s not cruel and malicious at all. People see this kind of thing everywhere, and now that it’s online and people can see their friends being caught sleeping. It’s just funny.”
Though Pope and Muirbrook coined the idea, similar accounts exist at other schools. Neither of them are sure which ones were created first.
“We started it completely by ourselves, but a lot of other schools have similar accounts,” Pope said.
The accounts have attracted media attention in addition to student attention. The pair was interviewed by KSL.
“I think it’s funny that we’re being put on the news for essentially being stalkers, but it’s fun,” Muirbrook said.
Since the rapid growth of the accounts, more and more submissions pour in every day.
“It’s early afternoon and there’s already been about ten submissions today,” Muirbrook said. “There’s so many that come in that we are super selective.”
Muirbrook said she spends one to two hours a day sorting through submitted pictures now. They said by being selective, they hoped to make sure people maintain their interest and don’t get bored.
So far, neither Pope nor Muirbrook have encountered any negative feedback from students, USU staff or administration or media.
“When we first started the account, that was something we were worried about,” Muirbrook said. “If people said anything about privacy or being offended, we were prepared to immediately take it down. We had all our apologies written.”
“We try to cast it in the funniest light possible,” Muirbrook said. “When we post we don’t try to make it like, ‘Haha, you were sleeping in class, you’re a loser.’”
Nate Hall, a freshman studying mechanical engineering, follows the Twitter account and has been caught twice on Napping Aggies. He hasn’t heard anything negative about the accounts either.
“I think it’s mostly just for fun,” he said. “I think most people who get put on there are fine with it. I mean, you feel like a noob for being caught on it, but it’s still pretty funny.” Hall said he found out about the account from a friend.
“Basically everyone who has a smartphone knows about it,” he said. “I feel like most people at Utah State know about it.”
“I think it’s a good idea, it’s pretty funny,” he said. “Whoever thought it up as an idea, it’s a pretty great idea. I’d say it’s one of the better Twitter accounts at USU, possibly the best.”
The future of the accounts, however, is in question.
“We’re both probably not going to be here next year,” Pope said.
Muirbrook is planning on serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Pope is applying for a Disney internship, but she may be back if she doesn’t get it. If they both decide to leave, they are going to look for successors to take over their hard work.