Using Instagram to inspire

Student creates instagram profile to offset cyberbullying


Reghan Scott / Legacy Media

Student scrolls through KC Sweethearts page.

A new form of bullying has taken place of the playground bullying seen in movies. With easy access to phones and computers cyberbullying has become an increasing problem in the 21st century. Claire Kouns, of an Instagram profile dedicated to complimenting and uplifting other students, has opened up about what compelled her to make the profile. With the username KC Sweethearts, Kouns hopes to spread love and positivity to her peers.

“People who didn’t deserve to be bullied were getting bullied,” junior Claire Kouns said. “A friend of mine had her best friend commit suicide over something someone said over social media and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else.”

The official definition of cyberbullying, according to the Webster dictionary, is the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person, often done anonymously. According to, 43 percent of children have been cyberbullied and one in four have had it happen more than once. Kouns said that she made the profile for people to post positive comments about others who felt bullied. Counselor Laura Castillo believes that KC Sweethearts is a powerful message against negativity in social media for high school students today.

“There is so much negativity on the internet and if students can use positivity on the internet then it’s so much better,” Freshman Counselor Laura Castillo said. “Words are hurtful and it’s hard when students are constantly hearing negative things about themselves from others.”

It is virtually impossible to remove comments from the internet which means victims of cyberbullying are humiliated worldwide. According to research from, cyberbullying affects students’ self-esteem, which ultimately affects them academically because the lack of confidence causes them not to participate or ask questions.

“I think it’s easy for people to pick on one another when they don’t have to look at them face to face,” Castillo said. “Many of them probably have a lot of negativity and they hide behind a computer.”

According to, many things can be done about cyberbullying. Students are encouraged to talk to an adult and explain what is happening to receive help. It is also suggested that students keep passwords and do not share anything personal with anyone that could potentially end up on the internet. Turning off electronic devices and taking a break from technology can help. Students who witness cyberbullying can also help by reporting all incidents and taking these issues seriously.

“KC Sweethearts shows that there is actually hope for this generation,” Kouns said. “I hope the positivity continues to spread all over the world.”

Kouns said that the idea of spreading positive comments on social media is being taken up by other schools such as Strack Intermediate and Klein Oak High School. While it is almost impossible to delete negative comments on social media it is also impossible to remove positive comments.

“Sometimes’ people just have bad days,” Kouns said. “They just need someone to tell them they’re beautiful.”