By Veronica Wells
Earlier this week, I saw a meme on The Shade Room that didn’t initially strike me as anything special. Usually, I like to go into the comments and check the pulse of the culture to see what people have to say about a certain topic. But with this, I just kept scrolling. Nothing to see there. It wasn’t until I saw my friend like it and then I saw it again on an associate’s page, that I decided to read it again to see if I missed some type of profound truth. Women were actually saying that they consider liking several Instagram pictures in succession to be a form of shooting their shot.
I don’t know if it’s the swiping on the dating apps or the heart that appears on Instagram when you like an image, but this type of behavior–doing what we all do almost every single day on the gram does not a shot make. It could mean you appreciate the photography, the witty caption he wrote, the progression of his beard growth. Liking an IG doesn’t always mean you have romantic feelings for the subject of the shot. Just like a picture is worth a thousand words, there could be a thousand reasons why you would like it.
I don’t have to tell y’all that many men aren’t experts in recognizing and understanding the meaning behind body language and other non-verbal cues. I’ve seen women laugh hysterically, dislocate their necks flipping their hair, and damn near wear a hole in a man’s sleeve petting him– and the brotha still walked away completely oblivious to the fact that she was trying to get with him. More often than not, men need things spelled out for them…explicitly.
I have to admit that part of the reason I’m writing this is so the notion that liking Instagram pictures to express romantic interest doesn’t become a thing. Things will get very sticky and problematic for the women who are just liking pictures for art’s sake. I can see mad unsolicited and unwanted dick pics in DMs if this continues.
Furthermore ladies, if we’re going to complain about men not putting forth enough effort when it comes to dating and getting to know us, we have to be willing to do the same. The same clarity of intention we expect from men, we should be willing to deliver. In other words, if you’re going to go against the grain and shoot your shot, really shoot your shot. I know some of us just started feeling comfortable putting ourselves out there in this way. So here’s a suggestion. If you’re really bout it, you slide in his DMs and tell him that you like what you see, that you would like to get to know him better. Hell, maybe even suggest an event you all can attend together. That’s a message no one can misinterpret and if he’s interested, he can take it from there. In the words of my mother, “I’m not telling you what I’ve heard. I’m telling you what I know.” I did this in college when Facebook was everything. And I got my date…and a couple after that. Since I was successful, I consider it a good experience.
And I think this is at the crux of the reasons why women want to like pictures and consider themselves Millennial Macks. We don’t have to be confronted with any type of real rejection. Believe you me, I get it. Rejection is unpleasant. It’s hell on the ego. But this is what men go through whenever they get up the nerve to ask a woman out. And if you really want to flip the script, buck tradition, then you have to be willing to see how the other side lives. It’s tough but it’s better than spending months wondering if you could have had a connection with someone outside of your phone screen.
Do you consider liking a person’s IG photos shooting your shot?