• Lizzie Jack

Tindstagram: courtship or creepy?

It’s no shock to anyone that the under 25 age bracket loves to use online platforms for a chance at love. We’ve got Tinder, Grinder, Bumble and even J-Swipe: a Tinder for Jewish people.

Living in an advancing tech age, we’re not far off VR-based sex being the new norm. But it seems some keen folk have been using Instagram as a way to get the gal (or guy) of their dreams, by literally sliding into their DMs.

Columnist for Mashable Australia Rachel Thompson recently wrote an article on the reactionary approach old acquaintances would take to check in on whether she was still single, conveniently after she would post a new selfie.

I’ve only ever had two people slide into my DMs. One was a random girl from the US asking where I got my tattoo. The other was an old flame doing a weird ‘new phone, who dis?’ because he’d had a missed call from an unknown number and apparently Facebook was too personal of an approach to ask if it was me (it wasn’t, by the way).

So I had two questions:

  1. Is my Instagram not fire enough for me to be getting messages from strangers and/or acquaintances I haven’t spoken to since high school? To be fair, all I do is post random photos of me and my friends doing drunk stuff and I don’t even have a ‘theme’.

  2. Are people looking for genuine love on Instagram? Or is it just downright creepy?

Mashable’s Cassie Murdoch explored the latter in her article, in which she coined the term ‘Tindstagram’: when someone you swiped left on finds you on Instagram for a second chance at communication.

So I did the only thing I knew how to do. I posted a status asking who on my friends list had given or received romantic or creepy messages via Instagram and I got a lot of responses.

The first came from an old high school friend who just sent me this:

Although Kameka thought it was a little creepy, he was good looking so it was okay.

“It was kind of exciting to get that cute random message but kind of strange because he was a random,” she said.

Then, the plot thickened. It turns out Kameka had followed this guy prior to receiving the message, after hunting him down on Instagram because he served her at a restaurant and she thought he was a bit of a babe. What a time to be alive.

"They would literally send me the eggplant emoji and a smirky face."

Secondly, I got a message from a fellow journo who has been in a relationship for seven whole years (once again, why doesn’t this happen to me?) and made a fake Tinder profile for a feature she was writing, and let’s just say, the thirst was real.

"After I got what I needed for the article, I deleted the account. But then I had about four or five guys from my school messaging me, and commenting weird things on my Instagram photos to see if I was down. They would literally send me the eggplant emoji and a smirky face and say: 'So, I heard you were keen?'" she said.

Sliding into the DM’s is like the modern day cat-call, but instead of hanging out the passenger side of their best friend’s ride, they’re texting from anywhere in the world.

But does it always have to be so creepy?

Amanda matched with Dan on Tinder in December last year. She said they kind of knew each other before Tinder, but real flirtation didn’t come until they followed each other on Instagram.

“We matched on Tinder because I was friends with his sister, but we had grown apart. We talked for a few days before following each other on Instagram, then we started messaging on there,” she said.

They’re now married with a baby due in seven weeks.

So I guess it’s not all eggplant emojis and catfish scandals from random gross people; there can, in fact, be a happy ending.

This is an edited article that was originally published at Chattr. Click here to read the original.

Lizzie is a true-crime obsessed music lover who rarely stops talking.She enjoys a weeknight vino and telling overly detailed stories (both in real life and in print). Check out her other stories here.

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