Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, “Wow, I wish my crush could see how great I look today!” or been out with friends and thought, “I wish my ex could see how much fun I’m having without him,” and then posted a photo on Instagram in hopes of that special someone coming across it?
Chances are, before you even brushed your teeth this morning, you popped onto Instagram to see what you missed overnight. It’s 2016, and what a time to be alive when it’s completely necessary to acknowledge that an app (completely irrelevant as recently as 4 years ago), may now influence your love life!
Even if you’ve never used Instagram before, social media has effectively changed how we interact, date and fall in love. Sooner or later, you’ll be asking yourself too “like” or not to “like?”, so here is exactly what you need to know before you slide into someone’s DM’s.
Keep It Uncomplicated
Do not follow someone on Instagram before you have met in person for a date, or even after a first date. You barely know this person, and you may never even see them again. It’s a delicate situation after the first few dates, so you want to avoid doing anything that may make someone you’re interested feel pressured or awkward. It’s not really any of your business if “that girl smiling beside him with the wine glass” is his sister, or someone else, until you are dating exclusively. So don’t follow yet, don’t ask yet, just creep from afar and do the only thing that makes you seem sane in this situation: bring it up at brunch with your girlfriends and talk it through there.
Hey, everybody creeps, and that’s OK! Checking out someone on Instagram or Facebook before you meet them for a date is standard practice, and it can be interesting to discuss existing connections and mutual friends – an instant conversation starter! However, it’s important to creep consciously, in untraceable ways. Probably don’t log into LinkedIn and read his resume – HE CAN SEE YOU. You will have to start a new life in China before you even get on that date!
Passive Aggression 101
Do not use Instagram as a weapon. Because photos people you follow have recently “liked” are openly visible, Instagram can be used as a tool in fights. Say you’re angry at your girlfriend – why not just go on Instagram and “like” photos of every hot girl you can find? Or better yet, why not start an argument over a photo of a random hot girl that your boyfriend absentmindedly “liked?” …The short answer is because we are all over 18 here. If you have a problem with your partner, bring it up with them directly and talk it out like adults.
At the end of the day, Instagram’s sole purpose is to bring you memes to laugh at and cute dog accounts to follow – or whatever mindless, harmless purpose you decide it has in your life. If Instagram is no longer fun for you, or is causing some major problems in your relationship, it may be time to reconsider your interactions with the app.