Whenever I get an Instagram notification, I hope it's from a friend, sharing a funny dog meme. But since this is the internet we're talking about, it's always within the realm of possibility that you'll
receive an outrageous DM on Instagram from a complete stranger. Or worse — your ex.
Whether it's something funny, something out-there, or something so creepy it's worthy of a block, you've likely seen it all. And hey, chances are you've
sent a bizarre DM or two yourself, at some point over the years. (We've all had those moments at 2 a.m. where it really does seem like a good idea to reach out to an ex, or drunkenly proclaim undying love for a celebrity.)
That's the great thing about social media; it brings people together. But sometimes the ease and convenience of it all is little
too easy and convenient. The best thing to do, if you're ever on the receiving end of DMs that make you feel uncomfortable is to ignore them, and if necessary, block the sender and/or report them to Instagram.
With that said, and seeing as it's
Instagram's 10-year anniversary, let's honor everything weird and wonderful the platform has to offer, starting with these outrageous DMs users have received over the years, complete with their equally outrageous backstories.
"For a few years (2014 to 2018) I ran an Instagram fan page for a famous actor and I received messages from him from time to time, such as him wishing me a happy birthday or him responding to a question I sent. But in September 2018, he didn't like a name that I jokingly called him in my IG story and he didn't like what I posted, so he unfollowed me and sent me messages about how he's 'growing and changing' and that I let him down. I don't think he should have sent as many messages as he did — he knew how much I admired him and supported his career — but at the end of the day celebrities are people, too."
— Sophia, 20*
Creepy Comments From Fans
"I host a skincare podcast, and made a comment about how I keep a taser in my office, joking that 'you never know what will happen when giving someone a Brazilian wax.' Not seeing the irony, a listener then DM'd me and asked if I would tase his... parts. After rolling my eyes, I started worrying that he might actually try it and hurt himself, so I sent him a link for what the side effects of tasing are (because they are NO JOKE). Then reported him to IG and blocked him."
— Cybil, 44
"I'm still not sure what the reason for this DM was. I guess I do have some pretty nice hands? However, it still bugs me why a complete stranger who wasn't even following me wanted a photo of my hands. At that time I found it odd, if not a bit funny."
— Thane, 23
Esme, 27, "When my ex and I broke up, I decided to change my password on Amazon, since I didn't want him to see what I was buying. As soon as he noticed, he took every avenue possible to contact me — Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat — to barter and see if he could get the Amazon password back. He even offered to exchange access to his HBO, but I was honestly fine without it."
— Esme, 27
"I remember there was one time a friend that I haven't talked to for a while randomly slid into my DMs and said, 'save me, I've been feeling so alone.' I was worried and felt guilty that I had lost my connection to her, so I replied immediately asking her why. The next message she sent was, 'I keep waiting for you but you never come.' The guilt I was feeling grew and I apologized but what she replied next — 'Is this in my head? I don't know what to think' — felt familiar. Like I literally heard that. So I asked her what's going on and the next response I got confirmed what I'd been feeling: 'he knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said, marry me Juliet,' with laugh emojis. That's when I realized I'd been pranked, lyric pranked. But it was a nice gesture, because we got reconnected."
— Tian, 35*
Requests For Personal Items
"One time a man (with a private profile) DM'd me and asked me what my shoe size was. I told him I wasn't comfortable answering that and moved on. Could've been harmless, but also... odd. Things went silent for about a week, until I received a message asking me if he could borrow a pair of my socks. I saw the message in my preview and before I could officially view it, he deleted it. I should've blocked him then. But, maybe a week later, he messaged me asking if I could mail him a pair of my shoes and socks. I took that as my cue to officially block him."
— Savanna, 19*
Kelly, 26,* says, "Last year, I posted a photo of a $500 pair of shoes that I was drooling over to my stories and a guy from back home that I haven’t spoken to in over 10 years (and never really knew well to begin with) DM’d me offering to buy them for me. The conversation that followed made it really clear that he wanted to be my 'sugar daddy,' but I declined because I don't know him, and I didn’t want him to try to keep me on the hook."
— Kelly, 26*
"Some guy who used to go to the same university as me suddenly messaged me on Instagram last August. We’ve never really interacted in person. I guess I just saw him around the campus now and then. He tried to convince me that he was officially tested to have an IQ of 200. I don’t know why he thought to message me of all people but it was as hilarious as it was frustrating."
— Alex, 31*
"A lady that I don't know sent me a message with a request to block her as I made a heart emoji on a photo of her 'idol's' page. She said she couldn't take viewing my message in the comment section, and she requested that I personally block her. When I didn't respond, she continued sending messages, and then I finally blocked her account."
— Amra, 37
*Names have been changed.