April 20, 2024

Instagram has removed the following tab so people can’t stalk anymore and we think it’s a great move

As usual, the internet is divided, many people are saying it will save a whole load of relationships, whereas others are angry that “the most useful feature” is going. As a Social Media Editor, I’ve never used the ‘Following Tab’ for anything productive.

Yes, it can help you spot which Influencers have bought their followers, or figure out that the person your dating is, in fact, dating multiple other people, but that insight isn’t worth it if it costs our mental health.

Ali*, 22, told me that she’d spend hours a day scrolling, tormenting herself by looking at the Instagram models her ex was liking and commenting heart eye emojis on, saying it wrecked her self-esteem. She felt she could never “compete with ‘Insta Baddies’ and their bikini shots”.

Instagram is finally ditching the ‘Following Tab’ – you know, that creepy little place on the app that lets you see what the people you follow are liking and commenting on. Born in 2011, it became, predominantly, a place for people to lurk and ‘stalk’ on their partners, infamous as a tool used to catch cheaters in the act. Or discover that your mate is really into parody pug accounts.

Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product, told BuzzFeed News that “It wasn’t a feature that people used frequently and the company suspected many users didn’t know it existed. ” After a quick WhatsApp to my friends and colleagues, it would seem that they’re correct – most people don’t use it, or know of it, and the ones who do only use it to check up on people they shouldn’t be. Kerrie*, 29, told us that she uses it to determine whether someone she’s dating is being honest: “I check to see if they’re liking loads of other girls photos, it’s normally a huge giveaway that they’re bad news. ”

Social Media can be one big smoke-screen; this may have given us a peep through the looking glass, but it also gave us access to another way to torment ourselves. I look at it like snooping through your partner’s phone, if you have to do it, you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship with them.

Let’s just go back to the good old days of blissful ignorance.

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