Back in ancient times, it was pretty easy to digitally declare your relationship status. You could go on Facebook, and instantly share with the world that you were in a relationship with someone. The best part, you could even announce that it was “complicated” with them, letting you social network allude to the mystery.
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But now, that trend has died, and a new one has emerged: going Instagram official. But what does that even mean? And WTF is subgramming — a new step to this process that came to our attention in a piece on Medium by Taylor Lorenz?
On Instagram, posting at least once a day is the societal standard. Either you do it as an influencer to keep your followers and insights steady, or just to confirm to friends and family that you’re still alive and well. Whatever the reason may be, when a new bae comes into your life, the prospect of adding to them to your feed becomes complicated.
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When’s the appropriate time to present them to your Instagram community? It’s not as simple as one click. Instead, its a digital dating science, a three step process, which we’ve explained below.
This is when you post photos of things or places you two have referenced or have talked about together. However, your budding relationship isn’t mentioned or shown in the photo. So you’re basically doing it to show your potential new boo you’re thinking about them.
Example: The guy you started hooking up with always wears this one band t-shirt. So then you post a photo of the band’s vinyl record, or a selfie with the caption being one of their song lyrics.
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OR… go the extra mile and ‘gram a photo of the coffee shop you guys had your first date at, or a photo of yourself at the party you two first met at. Go for a caption like “I still remember, that day we met in December, oh baby.”
This is the next big leap. It’s when you two instagram a photo of the exact same moment you spent together. Again, you two aren’t mentioned or featured in the photo.
Example: You guys both went to a concert together, and you both post videos of the same concert. But your caption isn’t “The Kooks concert with @yourinstahandle,” or something like that. Only people who follow both of you would know you went together.
Now this is the breaking point. From here, you either decide to go full-on Instagram official, or the relationship dies out.
3. Going Insta-Official
This means y’all are dating. Really dating. This is when you post a picture of you two alone together, or if you’re really dead-ass, a single photo of them.
4. The breakup
The first sign of a breakup is when a bae starts disappearing from someone’s feed, and/or the photos of them are deleted all together.
Though Instagram rolls out features like polls and tagging capabilities often, it’s unlikely the app will ever design a relationship indicator like Facebook. In the meantime, we’re left to our own devices on how to navigate dating through Instagram.