It’s 2017 and I can’t remember the last time I hit on someone in person. With online dating becoming less of a taboo, chances are that cutie you saw IRL already exists as a dating app profile. The allure of these apps is obvious; they take away the risk of rejection away by matching you with people who will like you back—and you can do it all from the comfort of your bed. However, with almost everyone using Tinder nowadays, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of a pile of right swipes made at last call.
To stand out from the crowd, many people are turning to Instagram to fulfill their romantic desires. Following in the steps of Facebook and Twitter, this photo sharing app is used for a number of different reasons it wasn’t originally designed for. Since its launch in 2010, people have transitioned from posting photos of friends, food, and travel to shamelessly posting photos of themselves. And it wasn’t until two years ago that Instagram caught up to the rest of social media with Direct Messaging (DM).
Twitter, which had the feature first, made it popular when people started using it to send flirtatious messages privately. But for those who failed hilarious, their convos were screenshotted and posted for all of the Twitter-verse to see.
Similarly, French actress and musician, Soko, caught the attention of Autre Magazine after she posted coquettish DMs sent from fans to her personal Instagram page. This inspired the publication to collaborate with the star to compile the funny and provocative DMs she received into a zine astutely named, Sextagram. In an interview with the artist, Soko admitted that although most of the DMs were ignored, she responded to some and even went on dates with two of the people who DMed her. So maybe Instagram is an effective way to land a date after all?
This begs the question of if dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, and OKCupid are even necessary? Comparatively, Instagram allows you to post as many selfies as you want and balance out the narcism by posting things that interest you, rather than being forced to fill in a bio. You also have access to a larger group of people you can search for with hashtags that suit your wants and needs.
Still, the one thing that a separates most dating apps from the rest of social media is that they’ve taken the guess work out of knowing if the attraction is mutual. Until Instagram finds a way to do this too, perhaps dating on the app is best left to celebrities. In the meantime, though, we’ll def enjoy the ego boost we get from anonymously swiping right on our crushes.
For the full story, pick up a copy of the spring 2017 “Relationship Issue” of Resource Magazine.