**I wrote the following tongue-in-cheek blog post several years ago, but didn’t publish it here. I don’t typically attempt humor, but hopefully you get a giggle or two from it. Or at least a smirk. And if not, you can join my husband in believing I’m not funny at all. 😉 **
I cut someone loose from my life. Okay, not really. I mean, I did cut the fishing line, but the creepy thing is, I suspect the fish is still swimming near the surface of the water staring at me. I can’t see it anymore, but I know it’s there. And yes, that’s quite unnatural.
Let me explain.
Instagram is an interesting beast. When it comes to awarding hearts, there are different kinds of Instagrammers out there:
Some like to spread the love. They will heart anything and everything you post. A scenic walk through Yellowstone? Love! A picture of a pet goat? Love! A picture of a dirty diaper asking if the contents look normal? Love! You can do no wrong in their eyes.
Then you have the eye-for-an-eye people. They treat Instagram like kids treat Valentine’s Day. “If you give me one, I’ll give you one.” And thus they keep score.
Of course, there’s always stingy hearters. They’ll throw one your way, but you’ve really gotta earn it.
Don’t forget the ones who hand out hearts because they are making fun of that person. They eat up the fact she just posted a picture of her supposed boyfriend who looks like his picture is being taken against his will. It’s more of an, “I’m laughing at you” heart.
Then there’s a few, mostly those who have become Instagram popular, who keep their hearts all to themselves (you know who you are).
But then there’s my absolute favorite: The Instagram creeper. The bottom feeder of social media.
Surely you know people like this. And that’s key to a real creeper. It’s gotta be someone you know. The scenario goes something like this.
Oh, look. Smitty Smitherson followed me on Instagram. I don’t get to see him that often, so it will be totally cool to keep up with what’s new in his life through some picture sharing. So you follow him back. And in roll the pictures. Oh, look. It’s Smitty feeding a donkey! Love! There’s Smitty on a spelunking adventure! Love! There’s Smitty’s third selfie in a row! Love! Love! Love! And then you love all these things about him because either they are cool pictures, or you like what he’s doing, or you just like him and want to be supportive! And you can’t help yourself. And you go along for a while like this until you realize something. Smitty is active on Instagram. Smitty has not loved one of my pictures. I know I’m not a professional photographer, and I don’t do anything too crazy, but I know there are at least a few gems among my rock collection.
Then comes the moment of crisis. The next time you see a Smitty picture, you hesitate, remembering that Smitty doesn’t love you back. Not even after you helped resuscitate a sugar glider who had choked on a cheese doodle and almost drowned in your Aunt Mona’s backyard pool. And you feel heartbroken and crushed because Smitty is the one who followed you FIRST! Smitty is the one who asked YOU to dance!! And you think, “What the Heelys! I’m tangoing by myself!”
Ah yes, then you must decide. Am I going to become an eye-for-an-eyer or am I going to continue loving pictures because I, quite honestly, love them, regardless of Smitty’s stingy string-cheese attitude.
So, you love the picture but at the same time, you are telling Smitty, “You are dead to me,” under your breath.
And so your relationship continues, but it becomes burdensome because it’s a fact: Smitty doesn’t love you. Smitty never did.
You connect it to the fact that Smitty added you first, and that’s when you realize you have a hot and heavy creeper on your hands. Because why else would Smitty follow you but not interact with a few of your freaking amazing pictures?
Oh, yes. Smitty knocked on your door, but he refused to come in. And for forty days and forty nights (more like three years), Smitty has remained standing outside your door. You say good morning every time you leave for work, but there is no response. Yet, there he stands. Day.after.day. Binoculars in hand.
You have never considered yourself a petty person, but that’s when you realize how creepy a creeper really is.
So, I cut the fishing line. I can’t bear to look at and love Smitty’s pictures anymore. It just reminds me that he’s standing outside my window peeping through my Instagram blinds. And that just makes me uncomfortable.
I’m hoping over time, after no longer seeing Smitty pictures, I’ll forget he’s camped out in my flowerbed, staring at me and my family through yellowy lamplight. Hopefully he’ll just turn into a garden gnome. Somebody that I used to know.