Single Guys Explain 5 Common Instagram Behaviors
Instagram has come a long way.
There was once a time when you would question your boo for hours if he so much as followed some babe that posted bikini pics, but now you probably follow about 500 randos, half of which are shirtless dudes, and expect every dude to follow some “Instagram models.”
READ ALSO: It’s okay to care if your boyfriend likes another girl’s Instagram pics
But just because Instagram has been around for a few years doesn’t mean we totally understand all the mixed signals that come through your feed. Does a dude liking your latest pic mean he’s DTF? Does your new boo following all your hot friends after you hook up mean he’s a player?
We talked to real single dudes about their Instagram habits in attempts to make things more clear.
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Does liking your photo actually mean anything?
When your crush likes your selfie, you automatically want to assume that it means he’s DTF, but does it really? Some guys claim they like pretty much everyone’s photos, but many admit they’re much more apt to like a pic if it’s a girl that they’re attracted to.
“I’m very selective with my likes,” says Andreas, 25. He goes on to say that if he likes a girl’s Instagram pic, it’s likely a “dream girl” or a girl who’s “out of his league.”
Justin, 24, also says that he uses most of his double-taps on girls. “I’d say its about 80/20 me liking girls’ pictures against everything else,” he says.
But other dudes say they don’t get too methodical with their insta-likes, and throw out likes pretty freely — if it’s someone they’d wanna “bang.”
“I like photos of girls I would bang and pretty much any photo a friend of mine [girls included] would post, unless it’s insulting to someone else,” says David, 21.
Jarett, 20, has a similar stance. “I definitely like a girl’s pictures more if I want to bang her, but sometimes I just appreciate a good picture even if she’s not really my type,” he says.
So, there you have it. Guys are just creeps. You might find this behavior annoying, or you might find it a dealbreaker. Or you might not even care. But just know that when a guy says it “means nothing,” that’s not totally true.
Does liking other girls’ photos mean he’s a player?
So a dude who likes every girl’s bikini selfie on Instagram is probably not the type of dude you’d consider Prince Charming, but then again, does it really matter? Is the type of guy who throws likes to Instagram models the type of guy who would cheat on you with an Instagram model given the chance?
Lots of the guys I talked to seem to understand the jealousy factor, and said they would likely chill on their Instagram thirst if they got into a relationship.
“I would definitely tone [my liking of hot girl’s photos] down, but if I felt like they deserved a like, I would give them one for sure,” says Andreas.
The idea that some girls “deserve” a like and some don’t is cringe-worthy, but Justin seconded this statement.
David said that he’d probably continue to like nearly everyone he follows’ photos, but would unfollow lots of the Instagram models that he currently follows. “I’m not trying to make anyone jealous,” he says.
READ ALSO: Why You Shouldn’t Care If Your BF Likes Other Girls’ Instagram Pics
Other guys had dealt with Instagram related arguments before. Greg, 23, recalls when his college girlfriend took things too far and he simply stopped using Instagram to avoid the fights.
“I was liking artsy photos of a girl from back home and she’d be like, ‘really?’ She knew every like I ever threw and used it against me,” he says. “So I just stopped using it. How to be a good boyfriend #1: pick your battles.”
Other guys get equally as jealous when their girl likes a dude’s sexy pic.
“I wouldn’t date someone unless I was serious,” says Jarett. “At that point, I don’t really want either of us actively on social media.”
Guess he won’t be dating any influencers anytime soon.
Justin felt similarly, but only if his girl was liking pics of actually attainable dudes.
“If it was some celebrity or model or whatever, then [I wouldn’t care], but if it was a mutual friend or one of my boys and it happened consistently, I’d probably care,” he says.
READ ALSO: Single Guys Explain 6 Common Snapchat Behaviors
Comments are almost always a big deal.
It seems like the majority of “normal” dudes think commenting on a girl’s photo is way too thirsty, judging by my research. Andreas said he rarely comments unless it’s a good friend, and Justin said he hardly comments unless he’s drunk and “really feeling the pic.”
Alex, 22, says he avoids commenting on photos because it makes him look thirsty before he even gets a shot.
“I usually I don’t comment on anyone’s IG unless we’re friends in real life,” he says. “If a new girl I haven’t hooked up with posts a selfie and I comment a heart emoji or something,’ it gives away any advantage of spontaneity I might’ve had later on.”
Adam, 23, figured commenting isn’t worth it because he’s just going to be another thirsty guy.
“Hardly ever do I comment on a hot chick’s pic just cuz they are hot, cuz they literally don’t care,” he says.
But Greg, who recently graduated college and moved across the country, kind of YOLOS.
“My mentality is kind of like, ‘why not?’ I live 3,000 miles away now,” he says. “Instagram is so ego-centric however you spin it, and no girl is ever going to really be like, ‘oh no, how dare he pat my ego.’ I just do it if a chick looks good. I’m like, ‘hey remember me? I exist and think you look great. I’d prolly still f*ck. Have a good day.'”
It’s kind of funny that guys think girls’ actions are just as ego-motivated as their own, but that’s another topic.
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Greg also argues that commenting could actually help him seal the deal, and calls the fact that most dudes refrain from commenting “untapped territory.”
“If you only like [the picture] then you’re one of hundreds, but the chick only gets like, 10 or so comments,” he says, acknowledging that it sounds douchey. “Guys’ pride holds them back. If a girl thinks I’m creepy, add them to the list. If not then, hey, we might have a dope conversation or lead to something.”
Basically, if a dude comments on your pic, there’s a good chance he means it. There’s also a good chance that he feels comfortable enough with you that he doesn’t mind looking like one of “those guys” who comments. In fact, some guys even said that they’d only comment on a girl’s photo if they saw things getting serious between them or thought they had a chance.
Then again, there are always going to be guys who DGAF, like Greg. In fact, he even told a story about his friends who played “emoji roulette” on girl’s photos, which involved them picking a girl’s photo, randomly picking two emojis, and commenting.
On the other side of things, this also means that if you’re hooking up with a dude who comments on other girl’s photos, it might be bad news. He can argue that liking other girls’ photos is harmless, which is debatable on its own. And according to most of these guys, commenting is clearly a little more serious.
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Does a guy following you mean he’s DTF?
A dude following you on Insta is similar to him Snapchat requesting you: you assume it means he wants to see more of you. Almost every guy we talked to confirmed this.
“Generally, [I’ll follow a girl] if I think she’s hot and it appears on suggested friends,” says Jarett. “I’ll only look a person up to add if I hooked up with them or something.”
He adds that usually this means he wants to hook up again, but just because he wants to hook up with a girl again doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll look her up on Instagram.
What does it mean when a guy you’ve hooked up with follows your friends?
It’s kind of awk when the guy you’re talking to starts following all your girlfriends on Insta. Sure, he might be trying to bond with your friends to ensure they like him, but if your friends are constantly posting sexy pics, it makes you wonder if he’s creeping.
At the end of the day, this kind of depends on what kind of guy it is. If he’s a f*ckboy, he might be planning his next move, like Justin.
“[It’s] a good way to stay connected just in case I’m single in the future,” says Justin.
Greg also said it depends on if he sees the girl as a hook-up or something more serious.
“It depends what your plan is,” he says. “If you met them through her, she’ll probably get ticked. If it’s a casual hook-up, who cares, it’s all based on your plan.”
Other dudes seemed confused by the idea of following a hook-up’s friends in general, which we take as a good sign, I guess.
All in all, Instagram is just another social media platform that seriously complicates dating. A dude who you might’ve been into in person can ruin his chances by DMing you something lame. You may get pissed at your boo for liking some chick’s bikini photos before realizing it’s his cousin. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to know what guys are thinking in these troubling times.
The important thing is to know that you’re not crazy or out of line for getting weirded out by his IG behavior. I mean, look at the guys we interviewed. For them, even the tamest possible interaction — liking a pic — at least means he’s hypothetically DTF. If that bothers you, talk to him about it instead of obsessing in secret.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what kind of person he is. If he’s a player, the amount of girls he follows might be an issue. If he’s a good guy, let him follow Kylie Jenner. After all, maybe he’ll buy you a lip kit or something?