Sex & Relationships

An Ode To Instagram Creeping

You never forget your first Insta spiral.

by Ginny Hogan
PM Images/Getty, Slavenko/Shutterstock

Over the past decade, Instagram has evolved, but our creeping has remained constant. Never one to let its users get bored, Instagram has rolled out Stories, Live, and more, to help us stay up-to-date on friends — and strangers. But it hasn’t been all filtered roses and sunsets: If you’ve accidentally liked your ex’s new-girlfriend’s pic from 2014 on Instagram, or brought up a fact you weren’t supposed to know in conversation, you probably know what it’s like to creep too far. In honor of Instagram's 10-year anniversary, here are five poetic odes to Instagram creeping.

An Ode To Instagram Creeping On My Ex

I sit and search the handle of my ex-beau,

He’s never changed it — Fredz533.

And then I see a woman who I don’t know,

Who’s amy_taylor? Certainly not me.

I hunt and scroll and click some more,

Discover all the data points there are to find.

I’ve learned her name, hometown, the number of her door,

That she likes dogs and frogs and cats of all kinds.

I know her LinkedIn, Twitter, Goodreads, Venmo, Postmates,

I found them all — it feels like a scam.

But at the end of the hunt, I’m still alone, without a date,

Thanks for nothing, Instagram.

An Ode To Accidentally Liking An Instagram

Oh no! I’ve accidentally liked a pic,

Of my ex and their mom at the zoo.

I unlike it immediately and refresh quick,

But what if he saw? I re-like, re-do.

Suddenly, the answer appears so clear:

I’ll block him, so he won’t have any proof.

Instagram hides evidence that you were there,

It’s the easiest way to make my handle go: poof!

He'll get a notification someone liked their post,

But when he goes to check,

Instagram will disappear my handle like a ghost,

My faux-pas, he’ll never detect.

An Ode To Making Fake Instagram Accounts

I hide my search history like a wedding ring,

No one can know at what I look.

If anyone saw, I’d be ruined, left with nothing,

The times I’ve searched every ex could fill a book.

But lo! I found something: A photo at a fair.

He’s eating cotton candy, and she, fried dough.

I want to see more pictures. Is blonde her natural hair?

But she’s private. What does she not want me to know?

So, I make an Instagram account anew,

Now I can watch their stories, free from stress.

With my fake identity, a new handle, and an email from Yahoo,

She’ll never know who’s behind that follow request.

An Ode To Patrolling Instagram Story Views

Unfortunately, I’ve wasted hours, if not days,

Scrolling through my story views, looking for his name.

My crush — was he watching? I hoped and prayed,

Did he think my impression of Bob Saget was lame?

The moment I post a story, I check,

to see who’s engaged and following along.

Five minutes later, I look again — what the heck?

— to see if anyone’s been added to the throng.

I must know if my crush has seen my story,

That’s why Instagram gave us this feature, right?

Yes! His name is at the top! I bask in the glory.

But what does that mean? Should I text him tonight?

Are we in a relationship? I’d like to know,

I scroll through my viewers again, to confirm he’s on the list.

But for the life of me, I can’t seem to find my beau,

I confused his handle with another; a swing and a miss.

Ode to Bringing Up An Instagram Fact in Conversation

I run into my dear ex on the street,

I’ve looked him up on the ‘gram, now and again.

I didn’t expect that in person, we’d meet,

And forgot I “don’t know” about his new girlfriend.

“How do you know Deb?” They ask, alarmed.

Oh sh*t. I’ve been caught creeping in the act.

“Oh, we went to college together, I mean no harm.”

I respond, but they open Facebook and check my facts.

“Stop lying, you’re obviously stalking us, and it’s lame.”

“No, I’m not,” I say. I lie.

Two pieces of information may, in fact, sound the same,

But if you got one off social media, purge it from your mind.

I lurked too far: I only know Deb from online,

But she doesn’t know me, and never will.

Then I remember: Everyone Insta creeps from time to time.