For our generation, there's no greater pleasure than getting a notification. So with pleasure, I inform you that there's a secret Instagram inbox that might be hoarding messages from your future friends, lovers, or fans of your life! This new surprise inbox is not dissimilar to the "other" inbox we recently discovered on Facebook. Now, Instagram has a special filter for messages coming from accounts we don't interact with, i.e. strangers. You have to accept the user's request before you can read the message, so it falls into this in-between "message request" category that doesn't illicit a notification. You could go your whole life without knowing about your requests because we're only trained to click things when there's a color block notification in the corner!
It seems like all of these platforms are creating a buffer for us so that we don't have to be bombarded with spam or robots selling underwear and followers, because these days, it's hard to filter it out on our own, we're getting it from all angles. Nonetheless, it's always a happy discovery to see unseen mail, even if it's not from humans. It's sort of like in The Notebook when Noah told Allie that he had been sending her letters every day and she realized her mother had been hiding them, and then, after her mother finally forked over the letters, Allie had all this mail to catch up on? Yeah, it's like that — except maybe a little less romantic, depending on your life.
For me, I was more than happy to see five message requests, three of which were real humans who were not trying to sell me anything and just wanted to say 'hi'! So, here's how you find your secret messages:
Tap that newly hot pink Instagram icon that's been generating all sorts of sass online, and then hit your message box in the upper right hand corner — yes, even if you have no notifications.
Now take a look at your message list; above it might be a light blue tinted bar that reads "message requests." If you see it, click it and browse through your filtered messages.
Decline the robots and accept the humans, as you please. If you don't see an option to click "message requests," that most likely means you don't have any.
But don't feel bad, because who uses Instagram direct message anyway? Isn't the whole point of Instagram that we don't really have to interact with each other directly, and that we can create passive, impersonal relationships with people that only appear personal online? Maybe I'm projecting. Anyway, don't forget to check back periodically with your inbox, you won't ever get a notification for a message request so you'll have to (gasp!) manually search for new messages. Good luck to you, I hope you find a long lost lover or a missed connection in there.
Image: Pixabay; Kaitlyn Wylde