Hi Isaac, My boyfriend keeps following hot girls and models roughly in our social circle on Instagram. I noticed him liking sexy selfies and told him it made me feel weird and he’s cut down, but he still follows hot girls constantly. We live in NYC and they’re often girls he’s met. He sees it as a harmless freedom he refuses to give up on principle. I’m ok with him looking at girls but why does he want the interaction of Instagram likes and follows? It feels like he’s signaling availability. Am I being unreasonable?
Hey, gidday mate. No, you’re not being unreasonable at all — I imagine his behavior would bother most girlfriends. But monitoring his Instagram usage is a recipe for insanity.
Instagram is basically a giant envy-inducing thirst trap. Whether we’re following people because their holidays or food or outfits look better than ours, or we find them attractive and enjoy looking at their photos for our own personal enjoyment, it’s all part of that whole, ‘I want what they’ve got,’ mentality that is ruining the lives of millennials the world over.
It applies to everybody, this whole life ruining thing. Selena Gomez is the perfect example — on one hand she’s rich, beautiful, famous, not to mention the most followed human being on Instagram; and on the other hand she suffers from depression and anxiety, and has talked about having to delete the Instagram app off her phone so that she doesn’t use it in obsessive and unhealthy ways.
Clearly this is a universal problem.
Your boyfriend likes looking at hot girls on Instagram (also universal). But he takes it a step further by constantly following new girls and liking their photos despite the fact that you’ve told him that it makes you feel uncomfortable. That’s his issue.
Your issue is that you are fixated on your boyfriend’s Instagram usage and you monitor who he likes and follows and engages with. That kind of obsessive sleuthing isn’t good for anyone.
The only way around this is to have honest and direct conversations with him about how his behavior makes you feel. You have to assert your position and tell him why you don’t like him creeping on girls. But you also have to cut back on the detective work — for your own sanity. What he’s doing isn’t cool, but what you’re doing isn’t cool, either. And unless you both cut it out, things are likely to implode in a nasty way.
So have the talk! Then put your phone away!
Hope that helps.
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