Talking to Strangers on Instagram – am I crazy?

 

I had a realisation recently. I constantly find myself striking up conversations with near or total strangers on Instagram, and it’s literally only just occurred to me that this might be a weird habit.
Post a photo of a particularly delicious ice cream? I’ll tell you it looks tasty. A new hiking trail? I’ll ask where that is. I’m not even remotely exaggerating about those possibilities either. I recently shared a joke with a girl I’ve met only once in my life about the fact that my Instagram following keeps getting stuck at 666. I frequently chat with a girl I’ve never met in NSW about how online dating sucks ass. Not half an hour ago, I commented to another girl living in Canberra that the view out of her window looks pretty.
Does anyone else do this or am I just slightly unhinged?
I had this sudden premonition that perhaps I’m the Instagram equivalent of that weirdo at the party who latches onto random groups and butts their way into conversation with all the subtlety of a brick to the face. To be completely fair, I kind of AM that person whether online or in the real world anyway. I’d like to claim that it’s all part of my charm, but I’m not sure anyone has ever considered a complete lack of social awareness charming. Let’s just roll with it.
So is this weird? And is it a bad thing?

Actually I’m inclined to argue that this is something more people should do. For one, it’s meant that at blogging events I can often find people I’ve at least had some semblance of a conversation with before so it’s not quite so difficult to break the ice. It’s also meant that I’ve even gained some actual friends along the way. At least two people I’ve chatted with this way have ended up friends I catch up with outside of my phone screen. It’s also improved my real life social skills so I’m better at finding things to talk about when I’m inevitably thrown on the singles table with a bunch of strangers at friends’ weddings.

So why the taboo? Why do I constantly feel like these people must just be rolling their eyes at the screen and muttering “oh no not this weirdo again”?

I guess it’s all about context. For many bloggers, these interactions are part of their business. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as clinical as that, but part of the process of blogging is chatting with your readers and getting to know them. If you know your audience then you’re going to know more about what they like and be able to alter your content appropriately. The times you can get yourself into trouble is when you apply this same approach to people who aren’t necessarily in the same game as you. For example, I met a guy in real life once and based on the conversation we had I found him on Instagram pretty easily. Only after I’d followed him and liked a few of his photos did it occur to me that my actions might come across as seriously stalkerish. I certainly didn’t mean it that way (though I won’t pretend the guy wasn’t cute), it’s just that social media is part of my bread and butter and I tend to assume that anything that’s not set to private is intended to be shared and discussed among a wider audience. I wasn’t creeping on your life – you just have a cute puppy. Seriously.

Really, the moral of the story is that you should never be afraid to chat and interact with blogs you follow or Instagram accounts you’re mildly obsessed with. Worst-case scenario? They might think you’re a bit weird (and most people think that of me anyway) and back away slowly if you happen to run into them in the real world. Best case? You might gain an awesome new friend who shares your interests. To me, the rewards well outweigh the risks there.

 

What about you? Do you tend to interact with the people you follow or not? Would you be weirded out if a stranger started a conversation over one of your posts or stories?

17 thoughts on “Talking to Strangers on Instagram – am I crazy?

  1. Haha your message was the best! I honestly love getting random messages from bloggers! It’s one thing to comment on their photos, but I want to get to know them and be best friends with so many bloggers! It definitely helps for blogging events, but it’s just nice to make more friends if you ask me!

    Laura || http://www.thelifeoflaura.com.au xx

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    1. Hahahaha thank you for your understanding of my strangeness 😉 I totally agree though. I have some friends who share my interest in beauty related stuff but not many, so it’s always so much fun to meet and chat to more!

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  2. Lol yes I do this. But I think in this day and age with the crappiness of Instagram is that we all welcome a comment or two from a stranger, in fact I get super happy when someone I don’t know comments on my posts! So keep on being your perceived stalker self haha

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  3. I was thinking about this the other day actually! I’ve also chatted to a heap of people via IG, sometimes revealing personal secrets (haha) I think you do get a sense of feeling friendly with people when you do see what’s out their window, and their cute dog! Btw I hope you don’t have to go back to the vets! (Stalker! Lol)

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    1. Ahahahaha that made me laugh quite a lot XD Good to know that if I randomly comment on your insta stories you won’t be concerned 😉 and thus far no vet trips today hooray! One scheduled for Saturday but fingers crossed I don’t have to go back before then. But yay for random insta friends!

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    1. Couldn’t agree more (both about the loving comments and disliking the random single emojis haha). And it definitely helps to start convos if you meet at events! (assuming you can match the face to the blog which is forever my downfall lol)

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  4. Haha I loved this! Yea i agree with you and basically everyone else in the comments, I’ve honestly made more friends that i see frequently through “social media” in the past year than at uni. I think it’s great cause you also do have that common interest and you (sometimes) sort of “filter” out the people you probably won’t have anything in common with unlike in real life where you figure that out over a longer period of time; it’s almost like an opposite where irl you make a relationship and slowly find common interests and but online you have the common interests and build a relationship.

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    1. Absolutely agree – knowing that you have at least one interest shared makes it so much easier. Plus you know they won’t judge you when you go out for food and feel the need to take pics of whatever you order at the perfect angle with the perfect light 😉

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  5. I think it’s so great that you strike up conversations with strangers on Instagram! I know it always brightens my day when someone leaves a meaningful comment on one of my posts! 🙂 As you said, especially being bloggers, it’s good to interact and get to know your peers because you never know when you might meet them in real life at an event!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

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  6. Haha I do this too!! I’m like “Oh where did you get that!? I love it and want it now!!” Furniture, clothes, plants.. You name it!! haha Sometimes I think people must think that I am a little stalkerish and think that I am copying them!! Haha

    Mel xx || Loads Of Lifestyle

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  7. I love this post! I think that it’s so lovely to spread such positivity I absolutely love people like you on instagram! The other day I had this whole conversation with this girl who recently saw one of my favourite bands live and it was so fun and interesting! X

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  8. I have made some really lovely connections online from blogging and Instagram, but obviously you do need to be slightly wary when talking to people online, but I think it can be a very positive thing! X

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  9. I love talking to people online!! I had a mutual friend with my boyfriend (before we met) and started a irl relationship with him! But I love talking with strangers especially if we have something in common! My instagrams are: @charliestarblogs and @211_miles

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