Welcome to “Ask Ada,” a weekly series in which we answer all those burning questions you’d rather not share aloud. Buckle up for some brutally honest advice!
How do you tell the difference between someone who just wants attention and someone who really likes your online presence?
Man, I’m Lonely
We’re living through some strange times.
People who wouldn’t dream of keeping their phones on at work have suddenly found themselves with heaps of free time and no supervision. It’s so easy to take a work break and scroll through Insta, when your new crush has a post, you hit “like” without thinking twice.
Look, I don’t give too much credence to social media “likes” or “dislikes” anymore. The algorithm does tend to push the stuff it thinks you like to the top of your feed, but it really doesn’t mean anything. It also shows you all of the stuff your friends like, so if you’re part of the same social circle as your online friends, your pictures might come up higher on their feeds because everyone else thinks that you’re pretty cool. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to find someone cool online and “like” everything they ever post. In fact, that’s pretty much my usual Saturday night on Deviantart.
Someone “liking” your posts doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re just looking for attention, either. It just means that they’re either lazy or bored.
So what are you gonna do about that?
The good news is that you have power here. If your crush “likes” your photos, you could reach out to them and ask if they want to Zoom with you.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that’s no longer in lockdown, you could even ask your crush on a proper date.
If they’re genuinely interested in you, they’ll say “yes,” and you can take it from there. You may discover you are soulmates. You may find that you like each other better on social media than you do “in real life.” You may have a perfectly nice time together but decide that you’re not into each other. The possibilities are literally endless.
But you have to ask them first.
Conversely, if they make plans and break them or never respond to your invitation, then you’ll know that they don’t have an interest in you. That may seem nonsensical – why would they “like” all of your pictures if they’re not into you? Remember, though, that we’re all sad and bored right now. Try not to judge your crush for being human. In these difficult times, we need to give each other a little bit more grace than usual.
So focus on what you can change.
Do you want to get to know this person better? Tell them so. Even if your invitation puts them off, it still has an upside – your crush’s mixed messaging will almost immediately stop.
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