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Do You Check Someone's Instagram Following Before A Date? You Should

Forget Google or LinkedIn. This is the new vetting system.

People are checking who their date follows on Instagram.

Before you meet up with your Hinge match, it’s important to do some digging to ensure you aren’t about to get drinks with a walking red flag. Typically, this means Googling their first name or college — or any other info you’ve gleaned from their profile — to see what comes up.

If you’re lucky, your search will reveal your date’s LinkedIn profile with 500+ connections or their sister’s Zola wedding page where they can be seen smiling next to family members and a golden retriever. These could be green flags and good signs, but you have to remember that the average internet sleuthing sesh isn’t foolproof.

To unearth the real inner workings of your date’s mind, you’re going to want to dig even deeper, and the best way to do so — at least according to TikTok — is by checking who they follow on Instagram. Scrolling through their following list is a lot like taking a peek inside their diary, especially since not everyone seems to notice, or care, that this list is often public if their account is.

And no, this isn’t creepy behavior. According to relationship coach Karina Daves, looking someone up is the best way to see if they’re a real person and not lying about their job, age, and other important details and it also serves as a mini background check. So let this be your sign that it actually is a good idea to look at someone’s IG following and all it reveals.

Does The IG Following List Reveal All?

All it takes is a few scrolls through your date’s Instagram following list, and just like that you’ll have a sneak peek into their music and movie taste, social life, and even the niche hobbies they might not openly mention, like the fact they’re really into bird watching.

As you scroll further, you’ll start to form an idea of who they could be as a person and whether or not your values and interests might align. This is especially true if you stumble upon the political pages they follow, any unique brands they support, and the genre of celebs they’ve decided to stan. That’s the nitty gritty info that likely reveals their likes, dislikes — and ultimately who they truly are.

According to creator @callheroppa, checking someone’s Instagram following is also a good way to see if they have any, um, interests when it comes to pages they tend to gravitate towards. In her viral video, which has over 600,000 views, she says it’s a major red flag if someone’s entire following list is all models and IG baddies, as it could be a sign your date is keeping a roster — or at least wishing they had one.

In her comments, one person wrote, “Sometimes I check and the ick is immediate.” Another said, “I made the mistake of not [checking my partner’s following] before starting my relationship and I regret it immensely.” The signs that someone will be a good partner could be right there in their Following list, you just have to remember to look.

Creator @naw_sir agrees, saying an Instagram following is rife with data that needs to be analyzed before a date. In the user’s video comments, one person said, “I always do this. If I don’t like who he follows, bye.”

While you’re poking around, TikTokers also suggest taking note of their following and follower count. If you’ve been talking to your date exclusively for a few weeks, and yet their following keeps going up — especially if it only goes up by one — then you might catch yourself wondering if they met someone else and if they aren’t being honest about your connection.

Should You Go On The Date Anyway?

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Using an Instagram Following list as a pre-date vetting system definitely isn’t a bad idea. If nothing else, it will provide you with some talking points to chat about as you grab dinner or drinks. According to Daves, it’ll also encourage you to check in about important matters.

Armed with your newfound knowledge, she recommends asking more questions to clarify or quell any concerns you might have. “Ask [questions like] ‘What type of people do you hang out with? What are your values? What are some things that you like to do?’ And see where it goes from there,” she says. If you like their answers that might mean more to you than what you saw on social media.

That said, it’s also OK to cancel a date based on the vibe you get from someone’s online presence. If something feels like a red flag or a dealbreaker, it’s likely because it is. Who knows? Your next Hinge match might only follow their five best friends, a quaint public library, and the local animal shelter, and that just might be your perfect match.


Karina Daves, relationship coach