An MSU social relations and public policy sophomore was scrolling through her Instagram when she noticed many of her University of Michigan frienemies were reposting affirmations from an Instagram affirmation account.
Being curious, she and her roommate decided to check if MSU had an affirmation account. After discovering it didn't, they decided to create one themselves, calling it @michiganstateaffirmations or "msu affirmations."
“We were a little bit apprehensive about starting an account because we’re both pretty busy and we didn't know if we were creative enough to sustain it, but we decided to take the leap and start it, and it really ended up taking off,” one of the administrators said.
Despite their first post only being September 9 of this year, they quickly gained more than 3,000 followers within two weeks. This is due mainly to their account being spread by word-of-mouth and people reposting the affirmations on their own Instagram Stories, the administrator said.
Currently, the account has over 4,500 followers and gets over 1,000 likes on recent posts.
One of the people who helped spread the word of the account was public policy junior William Christy, who is a follower himself. Christy found out about the account through other people's Instagram Stories. When he showed his friend, kinesiology sophomore Tristin Gless, a couple of their posts, she decided to check them out.
“I looked them up on Instagram and started going through them myself,” Gless said. “I was just cracking up laughing and so then I started following them.”
The two administrators get inspiration for affirmations from all sorts of places, and because of that, their affirmations cover a wide range of topics. Once one of them has come up with an idea, whether it’s something to do with classes, sports, living in the dorms or Grand River, they always make sure the other approves before they post. One of them explained that while 70% of ideas come from their own experiences, the additional 30% comes from followers sending in ideas, which the administrators appreciate.
“It’s really cool because we've gotten to interact with so many people from around campus with ideas for affirmations but also just to talk or connect about things that we post about,” the administrator said.
Criminal justice freshman Lainie Debonis, another person who found the account through other people's stories, is one follower who sent a direct message with a potential affirmation. The administrators posted her idea about the Landon and Shaw dining hall situation quickly.
“I like the (posts) that are more of a joke,” Debonis said. “I don't really know how to explain it, just the funnier ones.”
Debonis isn’t alone in that preference. The administrators of the account have noticed throughout their almost three weeks of posting, usually 3 to 4 times a day, that many people prefer the more specific and relatable ones. They believe that makes them more enjoyable for the followers.
Many people agree with that statement, including Christy and Gless. While they both followed the account to have some laughs, they both ended up with favorite posts. Whereas Christy enjoys the posts about campus, whether the CATA buses or dining halls, Gless likes those she can personally relate to.
“I really loved the (post) about the 'parking my car and not getting a ticket' cause I ended up actually getting a ticket the other day,” Gless said. “But my favorite one was the ‘my roommate will refill the Brita’ (post), because I'm always busy and never here and (my roommate) always ends up refilling my Brita for me.”
One of Gless’s favorite posts was about the affirmations account wanting MSU star running back Kenneth Walker III to follow them back. This affirmation ended up working; Walker now follows the account.
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