Instagram Stalking Is Killing My Lady Boner

Overzealous Instagram stalking is a painfully obvious move. If you’re sitting there letting your overactive thumbs like every last photo of cats, iconic signage, and cocktail your lover posts, they’re going to start to wonder if you have any hobbies.

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Oct 16 2013, 7:02pm

Gif by James Kerr

I wish the dudes I hook up with would stop liking my Instagram photos. Does this seem to refute the initial purpose of every pouty selfie and semi-artistic shot of basic architecture I post? No question. But if you feel the need to veritably brand every snapshot of my life that I post on the internet, you start to come off as a lovesick virtual peeping tom, and I start to feel smothered, creeped out, watched.

Overzealous Instagram stalking is a painfully obvious move. If you’re sitting there letting your overactive thumbs like every last photo of cats, iconic signage, and cocktail your lover posts, they’re going to start to wonder if you have any hobbies. It’s the modern-day equivalent of camping out outside their door, weeping and playing horrible songs you wrote about them on your shitty guitar.

We’re lacking enough mystery in our sex lives as it is, so dudes, please stop being so visibly up in my virtual grill. It’s a far more attractive—and less terrifying—move to temper the fanatical need for voyeurism that, admittedly, lurks within every one of us born after 1985 and just sit still and be cool. The “hard to get” trick is the oldest trick in the book for a reason. Here are a few more reasons to tone it down:

It Spawns Insecurity
“Where the fuck are my little orange hearts!!” I’ve heard more than one of my friends shriek at their phone, mere minutes after posting a selfie. Knowing there is a high chance a person I’m romantically obsessed with will publicly slap an orange heart onto a picture of my face makes me go completely snaky and become even further addicted to my phone. And if they don’t like it, I assume I’m probably just hideous. All of this is made even more embarrassing by the fact that the entire internet is able to watch the passions heat up and fade. Instagram is an app that’s supposedly focused on the public expression of friendship and sharing, but in reality, it plays on our inadequacies to keep us all painfully roped into a perpetual game of show and tell, and it can get emotional. This summer, for example, a casual lover was fading out of my life, and I told my friend about it over the phone. “Yeah,” she said, “I know. I noticed he stopped liking your shit on Instagram.” This level of transparency is not ideal, folks.

I Don’t Need Everyone to Know Who I’m Sleeping With
You don’t need to stake claim to me by liking each photo I post. Any moderately curious person is going to be able to tell what’s going on, and it gets awkward. Sometimes there’s more than one person writing their virtual name beneath every personal snapshot I unwisely post. I asked the man I’m seeing now – who’s excellent at being an adult btw – what he thinks of people who do this. “Naw, yo. That’s thirst, right there,” he says. He’s right. We’re social media soulmates. Excessive social media interaction is actually written about in academic journals; it’s called cyber obsessional pursuit. It’s a form of cyber-stalking. It’s a thing.  So, I say this from the heart: stop looking at pictures of your ex’s sandwich and go play outside.

It’s No Real Substitute For an Emotional Connection
One time, as a guy I was seeing said goodbye to me, he said “Don’t worry, I’ll see you on the internet.” Like, “Don’t worry, I’ll see you tomorrow.” I asked what he was talking about. I actually squeezed my eyes shut, hoping he wouldn’t confirm my sneaking suspicion: that he thought Instagram likes were a real form of communication. “Instagram,” he said. “You know, I’ll see what you’re up to.” This sort of behaviour is the definition of utter delusion. Unless you’re in a long-distance thing, Instastalking does not a relationship make.

Also, People Can Track That Shit
A striking number of my friends who check Instagram like some people shoot heroin were, until recently, unaware that by going to your personal news feed, you can track your friends’ activity by clicking the ‘following’ tab. My apologies if you’re a neurotic who was blissfully unaware of that fact prior to now, but I feel your pain all too well. I used to check it more often than my email when I was obsessed with a certain man, and I would repeatedly catch him writing things like “Sexy” under pictures of other girls’ tits. While the cliché holds up that the truth is painful, there are certain truths we just don’t need to seek. Or give others the ability to seek, if you know what I’m saying.

It Promotes Deeply Unnecessary Ghosting
Sometimes, I’ll forget a guy exists, but for the fact that he’ll like an average of one of my photos per month. It’s like the guy who says he’ll call, and then waits an ungodly amount of time to do it, making you feel drastically insecure and thus more susceptible to his advances. Sorry, guys, but we know that trick already. We learned it in middle school. You can’t disappear for weeks and then randomly like a #tbt photo of my mum c. 1992 and expect to get your place in my bed back.

All of That Said, Like My Fucking Selfie or Die
If you can’t show public support for a picture of my face, I might start to wonder if we have something to talk about. And I’m not the only one. One of my dearest friends is in a serious long distance relationship right now, and I think she would skin her man alive if he failed to like one of her selfies. And that, guys, is kind of fair. If you cannot be bothered to like my bathroom selfie…well…what is this thing we’re doing?

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SARRATCH

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