5 Instagram Red Flags That Scream “Approach with Caution!”

5 Instagram Red Flags That Scream “Approach with Caution!”

Don’t judge a book by the cover, but definitely judge a person by their Instagram, ok not entirely. It’s 2018 people, the days of asking around about the person you’re into are gone — it’s all about checking (ok, stalking) social profiles to see what a person is really about. Never has personal information been so easily accessible. A person’s age, place of employment, taste in music, family life — even who their last three love interests were — can all be found in a heartbeat. Thanks to the wonderful world of social media, we can do a little prescreen of the person we’re crushing on before we get too invested and it’s too late. Don’t let that chick’s impressive bikini shots fool you! Same goes for the dude with the rock hard abs. You gotta dig deeper.  

The Instagram profile is the new window to the soul — what you find there is critical in determining whether this person might be suitable for actual dating. So without further ado, here are some red flags you might want to keep an eye out for the next time you’re doing your pre-crush due diligence. And if they don’t have any social media…well, that could be a pretty big red flag on its own for some people. 

Also, have you been wondering why Instagram stories ranks viewers in a particular order? Studies show that our top story viewers are based off of profile visits (yes, stalking!), messaging, public activity and interactions within stories. Regardless of what goes into the secret sauce, the algorithm and its relevance to our lives seem to be driving the app’s stickiness…might be fun to check whose been peeping your Insta profile lately ;) 

1. Suspicious “Liking” 

What would we do in a world without newsfeed? I’m not advising that you turn into some paranoid, Instagram-trolling psycho here. However, if you notice that the person you’ve been crushing on has been “liking” some questionable material — lingerie models, shirtless men, their ex looking like a snack — I would proceed with caution. For me personally, I endorse a dude “liking” photos of Victoria Secret models, the Hadid sisters, any of the Kardashians etc., because hello they look amazing, and then we can discuss how great they look together. It’s the random non-celebrities that can cause some issues…like a random girl’s sexy photo you liked who only has 500 followers? And why are you one of those 500 followers? Do you even know her or are you planning on sliding into her DM’s? 

2. Sorority Girl/Frat Boy Vibes

If I see a grown ass man posting photos of his “wild weekend” surrounded by a bunch of sorority girls — you best know I’ve cut him from the “potential dating” category in my head. We all did college, we know what happens during those weekends, and they’re called COLLEGE times for a reason. Let’s not forget about the single abs shot with a beer in your hand — we get it, Saturday’s are for the boys. Same goes for women, if a guy peeps your profile and you have photos with guys where the relationship is unclear — it’s a no go. I’m talking about one of those photos where you’re sitting on a dude’s lap, or where his arm is around you in a way that implies closeness. How close is that “closeness?” That’s a guessing game some of them do not have the energy for. 

3. Materialistic Posts

These are the people that post a photo of their new Chanel shoes or YSL handbag or Rolex watch — not even with their face or outfit in the photo. I could have googled the photo they posted tbh. An obsession with material things to that level is not cute, and more often than not, it’s a sign that this person could be superficial af. Go right ahead and post it on your Instagram story with a caption thanking whoever got it for you, but an actual Instagram post dedicated to this item is a bit excessive. Don’t even think about adding #Blessed to the caption. 

4. Casual Sexism or Racism 

I was scrolling through my feed the other day and saw a guy post a photo of his girlfriend cooking him dinner with the hashtag, #YouBelongInTheKitchen. Are you kidding me? With everything happening in the world and all these feminist movements, that is far from appropriate. In general, I would keep an eye out for bigotry and sexism on Instagram. People may think they are being funny or subversive by being “politically incorrect,” but the truth is, their casual misogyny can be part of something darker — I would avoid them at all costs. Pay attention to hashtags, memes and bios for clues of this. 

5. They Follow Terrible People

One of the best ways to get a vibe of how a person is through their Instagram is to check what kind of people they follow. Is it all just bikini babes/lifeguard hunks or big booty accounts or ignorant political personalities? Yeah, red flag alert. But y’all, if they follow multiple meme accounts, they’re a god damn keeper ayyyy. 

While you can never really know who someone is just by what they post on Instagram, it is a literal snapshot of their priorities and how they want to be perceived. Instagram Stories is a great way to know someone’s personality since it’s a quirky way to present photos/videos of a person (ex. Boomerangs, doodling, stickers). All we can do is use the information we have at hand (literally) to make the best decision possible. So post a thirst trap, get your creep on, and let’s lurk through the world of Instagram. 

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