We all like to pretend that our random DFMOs, side baes, booty calls and other boo thangs don’t matter to us. On the outside, we might succeed in creating this “I’m so over it” facade. Yet, when it comes down to it, we are all guilty of stalking our past hookups on at least one form of social media.
With all of the options of the app store world, keeping tabs on past hookups has become almost too easy. Whether you're neurotically clearing your Facebook searches or popping into an Incognito tab to scroll through someone's Insta, it's time to own up and admit it: this summer, we'll spend way more time on this than we should.
The stalking process starts with the most trustworthy source: Snapchat. It’s safe to say that Snapchat was made with the intentions of allowing others to keep tabs on people. It’s an “I’m not over it, but I’m pretending to be” person’s dream– and their exes’ nightmare. With 24 hour access to what our long lost lovers are doing, all our exes (especially the ones that live in Texas @Drake) should be wary.
Snapchat is all fun and games until you get hit with the blank arrow. Getting “blanked” is the nonverbal communication of “yes, I just saw 5+ seconds of your face and truthfully, I’d prefer not to reply.” This rejection is tough (Ed. note: better than the last guy you slept with not opening your Snapchat at all...), but hey, we go to Penn: we're used to it.
Facebook is not-so-shockingly useful in keeping up with “friends” from both the real and cyber worlds. With the ability to view new uploads, album titles, shared posts and recent friends, it’s easy to gather integral information into your hookups’ lives. The difficulty comes with the ambiguity of Facebook. If a boy has a profile picture with a girl, should we automatically assume they are dating? If a girl has over 200 likes on a profile picture, is she out of your league or just super friendly and well-liked? Is anyone who actually added Featured Photos an asshole, or just vain like the rest of us?These are the questions that keep us up at night.
If your potential or ex hookup has not been keeping Facebook up to date and their last interest or “like” was “*NSYNC,” (tasteful, but so 90s) you might want to search into their Spotify playlists just to see how musically compatible you are. Music can be a real deal-breaker–no one wants to be in the midst of a steamy make out sesh listening to Meghan Trainor and her whiny, somewhat offensive lyrics. Or, God forbid, Nickelback.
If Spotify isn’t enough, shameful as it sounds, Venmo serves as a helpful tool in identifying the ins and outs of everyone’s lives– or, at least, their wallets. It’s important to know which people are making transactions with your hookups. If bae used Venmo for “smokes” two nights in a row, who's to say that they won’t show up a third time while you just so happen to be there?
When you start to see an increasing amount of transactions to a specific person for things like “dinner,” “movies,” “long walks on the beach,” it's time to accept this person may not be on the market. The real difficulty with Venmo comes in distinguishing what the more discrete exchanges entail, which leads us to a whole other skill set– communicating in strictly emojis.
Since our stalking is most comfortably confined to a screen, we are left with our final few stimulating sources of insight: Twitter, Instagram and Tinder. These three apps are the triple threat of the stalking world. Not only is Twitter a direct insight into your hookups’ minds, it also allows you to see who has caught their attention and gained their admiration through the honor of being retweeted.
Instagram is useful because it’s like Facebook’s younger, hotter, international cousin that came to visit and then decided to stay. Instagram allows us to see our potential hookups’ follow to following ratios, as well as how many likes they get per pic— which can, believe it or not, tell us a lot. When it comes to stalking hookups of the past, Instagram is key for knowing whose pictures your hookup is liking and how active they have been on the social scene. There’s also the added bonus of seeing how creative your hookup can get with captions. A page with Insta posts that are strictly selfies captioned with song lyrics should signal that it’s best to move on.
If you’re really desperate to rekindle a flame, you might find yourself perusing Tinder. Tinder is a stalker’s last resort. It’s helpful in keeping tabs on people who have minimal social media presence but are still trying to find that “special” someone. Tinder provides us with the insight of knowing if a hookup has recently made, updated or deleted their account. Another one of its benefits is the bio feature: your person of interest's statement to the world about all the virtues (or lack thereof) of joining them in bed. There’s no shame in making an account just to see if your old or new love is both witty and attractive.
With all of these resources, we must be careful. If you find yourself on a social media rotation of these stalking apps anywhere from upwards of 25 times per day, please seek professional help. If you can keep your stalkerish tendencies on the low, then go ahead and enjoy. Who knows? With all of these tips, maybe you can channel your inner Soulja Boy and Kiss Me Thru The Phone.