That’s what I am.
Somewhere today, I got a wild hair to start cleaning up my Instagram. I had noticed a few days ago that my follow to followers ratio was about 3:1.
I wouldn’t say that bothered me, per se, but I did wonder what that imbalance provided me.
Giving it a very little bit more thought, I added a qualifier or two.
Minimal and prurient.
I was able to admit that I got nothing out of this but minimal entertainment watching strangers’ stories and pics as I mindlessly scroll my free time away. Sometimes that entertainment is minimally thrilling, too, as several of the folks I followed were prone to what I like to call soft core selfie-porn.
A lot of this was obviously one-sided, too…remember that 3:1 ratio?
There were also random or aspirational restaurants that I hadn’t gone to in over three years.
Some had closed.
There were people I chatted with on asocial media back during my 2018 writing challenge that led to Dating Into Oblivion. Some of these pages had zero posts, and only ever posted story videos.
A couple of the empty pages had thousands of followers, too. Thousands of followers without a single post?
A few of the pages I deleted hadn’t posted in years. I knew some of them and wondered if the attention they put into their pages shifted to relationships.
There were a couple of friends that I knew had died. I just couldn’t delete their pages. Is that nuts?
So, what’s the opposite?
I’m doing this as I am actively adding friends on the Facebook. Last year, I started weaning myself off of my Facebook habit. When I wasn’t driving, I had lots of free time during my public transit commute to spend mindlessly scrolling through social media.
Now that I’m driving and notably not commuting to or from work, I wanted to put a little discipline into that scrolling habit.
But ever since mid-December, I’m adding friends on Facebook. Some are friends of friends. Others are guys I had texted with after hitting it off on asocial media. One worked at a bar that suddenly shut down a couple years back. Still others were just cute.
Shoot me, ok? I’m a guy.
But the real standout was a guy that currently works somewhere I worked three or four years ago.
Four. It was four years ago.
What truly set him apart was that I’d given him a ride in my car! I had picked him up from a something-con at the convention center a few months back.
He granted my friend request and then began chatting with me on Messenger.
Our conversation was catch up stuff on the random crossovers in our lives.
Then some strange things began dropping into the conversation.
How old are you, hon?
And “hon” had company like “dear” and “sweetness”…which in chat is a little hard to interpret.
So, I just flat out ask the question.
Are you flirting with me?
Too many denials followed. Enough that I was left feeling both undesirable and dubious about their veracity.
A couple days later he drops in that he has a date.
I mentioned that ~36 hours after clearing up his disinterest in me was a little too soon to begin parading a date with someone else into the conversation. He apologized. Then mentioned he had a follow up date the next day.
So wait…you’re going on a first date on Christmas Eve and already scheduled a follow-up for the next day? What if you don’t like him?
“Oh, that’s what the second date is for! We’re doubling with my bestie – I won’t know if I like him until my best friend meets him.”
Wow. Don’t give away all of your decision making power there, Sparky.
I also thought, what a junior high level dating mistake. That thought just kind of faded into the mist of my memory since I had no further contact with him. I actually began to wonder if he’d unfriended me.
I popped over to his page and the very top post – from just a few hours before – was “In A Relationship With”.
It had been a week since their first date. And he lives an hour south of town.
Outside of this post, I kept my thoughts to myself. But each of the red flags he’d bemoaned during our chats was now being waved in celebration…
The bestie must have really liked him.
But as the realization and acknowledgment of my – oh, hell – inconsistent behaviors settled in, i consoles myself with the knowledge that at least on the Facebook it’s a mutual decision. With Instagram, you can pretty much follow whoever strikes your fancy. That’s the allure, Insta is more entertainment than actual friendship.
At least my list building is mutual.
And in the other hand…
I’m down to about a 2:1 ratio on Instagram. So, there’s that.