Facebook Group Offers Local Color
All of Irvington High School is buzzing with the daily gossip and news on our small humble town coming from the 10533 Facebook group. With a whooping 2,440 members, some former and current Irvington students, this closed group is the talk of the town currently.
Melissa Brown, a resident in Irvington and the Facebook administrator for the 10533 Facebook group, started the group in 2014 as a way to connect Irvington residents.
“Our family moved here the previous year and I realized we were missing out on what was happening all around us,” said Brown. “I realized that there are many facets of our community and all would benefit from a common message board where everyone could go to catch up on anything local. Everyone could contribute their own local events and information.”
From upcoming events to calling out the “eyesores” in town, the group starts very controversial and, according to some students, very comical arguments about each issue.
Junior Sophie Lasenna was shocked by the threads in the group when her initial reason to join was purely informative. “I joined 10533 to be informed about what was going on in our town and was surprised to see so much hostility from adults which I feel prevented real issues and news from being addressed.”
“Especially in Facebook groups, we need to remind ourselves to keep a positive and informational tone and to avoid opinions that can cause sparing,” said Brown. “And sometimes I need to step in to help direct posts to adhere to rules. My policy has been to never censor, however; I have found recently that sometimes people are unwilling to tone down their posts for which I do have to hide, delete or un-member.”
Junior Julien Mermelstein, one of the few who caught on to the 10533 group a little later, admits that his involvement was purely comical. “Students have gotten involved because it’s both funny and saddening to see adults acting childish and hypocritical.”
Junior Amy Castaneda also questions the seriousness of some of the topics. “But the banter is amusing,” she says. “The 10533 chat is a place where members of the Irvington community tend to over-analyze and nitpick every aspect of the town of Irvington. I like reading it because it gets a good laugh out of me.”
It isn’t only students, some Irvington teachers have joined the group as well
Irvington English teacher Mr. Groven spoke of why he joined the group. “I like being informed on what’s happening in the community where I work. It’s such a vibrant active community and the idea that people can come to that social center that Facebook provides is refreshing. I just hope people understand its purpose.”
“Originally it was probably created as a way for locals to communicate with each other more easily, but now it’s just kind of a gossip fest,” senior Ana Sandoval said. “Most people don’t use it for its original purpose and there’s a lot of random drama. It’s honestly all really funny to me.”
Currently the Facebook group is open to ages 14 and up but currently Brown is developing a protocol is order to effectively communicate with student members.
“The other issue with students currently is that fake names are not allowed on Facebook,” said Brown. “ I understand many seniors have chosen some wildly cool aliases which shouldn’t be allowed—another protocol I will have to re-think and add to the rules.”
Irvington graduate, Remy Mermelstein disagrees with Brown’s idea to boot seniors with fake names. “That is very wrong and anybody in the community regardless of their Facebook name should be able to join the group,” he said.
Brown has found may obstacles that have been hard to surpass in regard to the group. “There is a point where one person cannot possibly manage a group, run a business, and take good care of their family. I am anticipating passing the torch soon and people are graciously stepping forward wanting to help.”