Declaring your relationship on Facebook used to be enough to solidify your online bond with a partner. Now, couples are forced to navigate the murky waters of Twitter faves, Snapchat streaks, twinstagramming, subgramming, going Instagram official, and more.
While it’s long been expected that good romantic partners will dutifully like and comment on their other half’s best selfies, it’s no longer acceptable to simply throw digital hearts on your partner’s Instagram posts. Before Snapchat introduced its Stories feature, a personal feed of photos and videos that last for only 24 hours, some partners would white-lie their way through a relationship.
Not consuming someone’s Instagram Story, for instance, can be a way to digitally pull back or reset the dynamic in a relationship. said she’s currently dating a man who ignores her content regularly despite being “extremely online.”“It makes me feel like garbage,” she said.
It’s the Instagram equivalent of waiting three days to text back. “In our current dating age, it seems insane to play with someone like that just for the power dynamic.”Yet so many women and men do.
But writing off the subtle implications of certain user behavior ignores the weight those actions carry for a growing number of people.
For most people, watching their partner’s Instagram Story is a way to show they care.
These feature changes have led to enhanced expectations around content consumption.
It’s now understood by many couples that, to be a truly engaged partner, you need to regularly consume your partner’s content, and most importantly, watch their Stories.
Whether done consciously or unconsciously, it sends the message that you’re interested in what your significant other is thinking and doing.
While social media validation used to come in the form of public expressions of approval like faves, hearts, and likes, now, it’s often distributed more privately—yet just as deliberately—in the form of Story watching.