I joined Instagram a year ago, but I never really found my stride. This year I decided I would do a photo challenge: the one I found has a weekly theme. This has been a lot of fun so far. I am a hands on person: I learn by doing not from reading (which is sort of ironic because I read so much, one would think I’m a learner via that conduit but who knows how the brain works, especially mine…) so I’m starting to understand how this whole photography thing works…(kinda, sorta)

But anyway…

Instagram challenge. So I followed the hashtags that the challenge coordinator wants to use, which has brought me a few new followers, who I in turn have followed.


But here’s the thing. Most people are content just “liking” someone’s pictures, with the occasional public comment about how pretty or cool or whatever adjective sums up the picture…

But occasionally…

Do men (or women- let’s have equality in this moment)  assume that woman who post pictures on the instagram want to be chatted up in a Dm- or IM- or whatever private messages are called?

So I received a private message last week on insta from someone who followed me (OK- when you say you have followers it does sound sort of weird and cultish and I have Eyes Wide Shut visions all of a sudden).

And some random guy sent a how are you message followed by a what’s up message.

Ok- that’s nice, but he gave me no indication that he knows my from the blog, so I ignored it. Not that I’m anti friend making, but I usually choose my friends based on some mutual interest, and both of us posting pics on Instagram is not quite enough of a common denominator.

The next day I was on insta posting a pic and he sent me another message, the emoji for writing, (ok really- are we twelve or cavemen? Just write the words…)

And I ignored him again.

So my fellow bloggers and instagrammers, what is the proper protocol for handling a person who private messages you when you have no interest in following them back?

Do you:

  1. respond playfully
  2. respond tersely
  3. ignore
  4. unfollow
  5. block the person

And the greater question:

Why do people start conversations with strangers online. especially a vehicle like Instagram which is all about the pictures? (or…is that the draw- he figures if I post a picture about lines, I’ll eventually post pictures of my lines?)

Does he really think a writing emoji is going to turn me on so much I’ll start to scribe dirty little somethings?

Do you ever just “say hi” to someone on a social media platform with no reference to anything posted? Like, no comment about a blog, or picture, or comment?

If someone randomly messages you, do you respond?

What is the protocol, the etiquette for these situations that Emily Post never dreamed of?

on a funny side note, I went to my Instagram to get the exact thing he messaged me, but he already unfollowed me…there you go…I guess he wanted to know what was behind the camera more than what I posted. Shocking…

73 thoughts on “Protocol

  1. I tend to ignore them and they usually move on. Sometimes, I’ve received persistent requests to follow a link to see their “sexy pics” though. I think if it was more than that I’d block them but they’d just create another fake account I’m sure. I find it particularly strange because my social media presence is built around my business, so, why on earth would folk think “here’s a good target’?? I guess they must constantly bombard accounts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I thought was odd. My Instagram is very minimal….pics built around a challenge theme…nothing personal at all. Do people just randomly scope out others? It’s seems like a tedious waste of time. I get that someone might private message me from my blog, because I’m more open, but insta is just weird

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like a fake account to me. I can’t tell you how many men, of a certain age, usually good looking and/or with a dog, follow me and would like to chat. I always check the profile of whoever follows me to see what they post and if I’d like it, and don’t follow anyone who has a private account (unless I know them personally) or only a few posts. Also anyone who posts eight things a day, but that’s another issue. You’ll get the hang of bots (robot accounts) pretty quickly… PS. NEVER engage! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Sounds creepy and trollish to me, but I’m suspicious by nature so…
    I also know nothing much when it comes to Instagram as I use it rarely, but if someone was unwilling to give more specifics about their identity then I say block them and be done with it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I ignore messages like that. Eventually they go away if they’re not actually interested in the photos I have posted. I have no idea why they try to start conversations with strangers in the internet. There are plenty of other productive things they could be doing instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? That’s my thought. It’s different in a blog, because we’re all connecting over something. And even insta, if you’re truly interested in a picture it’s a whole different conversation.


  4. I block them. And I remove any creepy guy who follows me. One just popped up as I was reading this post!! I don’t understand it at all. My instagram has become almost entirely about my stitching projects so how does that attract these (desperate?) guys? How do they even find us?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I ignore the first time and then delete their follow if it happens a second time – it starts to get creepy. I have been getting a ton of friend requests from men lately – I see they follow hundreds of people and have one follower – I ignore. YUCK.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beware of unknown Instamen. I let a couple follow me before I realized they were stalkers and blocked them, and now I decline requests to follow if I don’t know the person in some way. My account is set to private. People can be creepy. 😒

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they can! I don’t post anything even remotely personal. For me it’s a way of making me learn how to take pictures, cause if I’m posting them I want them to be good!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel as if social media is the perfect vehicle for guys like him, because you can reach multiple people in no time flat without doing much else than posting poetry or some cool pics. He was evidently on the prowl, and you did the right thing. Ignore. Because ANY interaction is food to this individual. And by ignoring him, he will go away . . which he did.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not on Instagram. On Twitter, I don’t follow accounts that are a guy with a picture saying he’s looking for love… 😉

    As you can see from your very intelligent followers (and your own wise suspicions), he’s just a lurker.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for bringing this up! I’ve been wondering about these amazingly handsome men who can’t seem to find female company in real life, so they turn to social media. What’s THAT tell you. I had one guy who posted a total of four photos on Instagram, 2 of which were the same stock photo! I’ve always ignored their private messages, but now I think I’m going to start deleting them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think this is just one part of why I’ve avoided most social media. I keep seeing things like this. I was worried when I set up Twitter, but fingers, toes, and everything crossable crossed, I have yet to see this on my account. Granted, I also only follow back users that actually post interesting content so I don’t know if that has made a difference. I would probably go the route of blocking if it did happen, though.

    I’m also a “do it” kind of learner more than a “read about it” learner. One of the many things about how my brain works that kind of drives me crazy trying to figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I ignore them. Some become so insistent that I answer that I just block them!!! I know, seems childish and extreme but it’s my Instagram account and I don’t have to put up with it. I am also selective on who I follow back. If I like their feed I follow if not I don’t! The last thing I need to do is look at some chicken and some scanty cloud outfit showing up on my Instagram!!! I also do not follow anyone back who has a private post. You have no idea what their feed will be. I did it a couple times and ended up with weird pics or semi nude pics and I don’t need that on my feed either!!!! Having put up with nasty man with awful comments as an ER nurse for years I just don’t have a time of day for anything like that anymore!!! BTW…A paramedic friend of mine had somebody steal his photo off his Instagram of himself and even though the jerk used a different name, the jerk used that photo to try to get women to meet up with him so be careful everyone!!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I think that is the reason you need to accept followers, I have had a couple of people want to follow me(guys) and I have ignored or declined. It kind of creeps me out. I share pictures with people I know or follow myself, probably not the best reason for using Instagram but there you go.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “I want to know you more and more” is what one guy DM-ed me once. Lol

    Ignore. It’s not real especially because there are no selfies of you.

    Block if your gut tells you to.

    Mostly, they’re lonely and want attention or a diversion, is my guess. I ignore and delete regardless.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I do not have an Instagram account, at least not yet. However, I do receive friend requests on Facebook, but I ignore them. Perhaps that’s rude but why would a perfect stranger want to be my “friend” anyway? It’s rather surreal. That’s my two cents worth.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Reminds me of when my little blog received its first “award” and I dutifully passed it on to another person who dutifully ignored it. Takes some time to learn how this stuff works and what it all really means… (if anything)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’d suggest ignore, they’ll get bored and leave…… interesting post that has me thinking of my own ‘Insta’ tale…. you know the one! Moral of the story LA, is never post photos of yourself modelling underwear because you’ll get unwanted attention 😀 .

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I post pictures of my Etsy offerings so I have a public account but that doesn’t mean that I need everyone following me so if I get a notice about a questionable one, I block them. The only time I hesitate is if I can see that other people I know are also friends of theirs. Then it depends on the connections. Yours definitely sounds like one I would block immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I block people like that and I get them all the time on Instagram. Give me a break. I am 64. You did not see my picture and fall madly in love. You are not a petroleum engineer working overseas. And your spouse did not die and leave you two raise a twelve year old who is in boarding school. Al least be creative if you are going to try your scam on me.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ugh! I get this on Pinterest. I’m not on Instagram. And I hardly get a message that has anything to do with my content. (Sometimes it might be a tribe request from ppl in the same niche… that’s fine). I ignore and if I get more than two of those random messages from the same person, I block them.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. What is your instagram name?
    I tend to either ignore, and then if I recieve a few more messages, without me responding in the first place, then I’ll block them.
    They normally either want to sell you something, recieve a picture, or offer you a wonderful opportunity… in exchange for money lol! X


  21. Since i have a kid. I BLOCK and delete! Nothing more… 👌 People are nuts these days i dont know how they even found us. I have 2 emails so i had 2 all…. through 10 years. Ine account is private. For the other i forgot a pass and its public.
    Anyway when i figured out my accohnt was public and all photos were public?? When old.pervets started to follow me. Nobody did anything before i published couple of photos of my kid. After i have published couple of photos of my kid i got a requests of pervets that follow pussies yes!! People are insane! And thanks for reminding me that i need to cancel old account and write them.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I stopped going on instagram because of random men thinking it was a dating site. My Instagram photo is a great picture. (Obviously it was taken a coupe years before I got cancer and lost my hair from chemo.) It’s just a head shot and not sexy, but it’s a nice photo. My other pics are of my family and I. So there’s nothing provocative on my page.
    At first I thought it was odd that random men started responding to my page and writing weird things. I finally just blocked them all. Unless I know someone I block anyone trying to meet me or date me. Women don’t seem to use Instagram like that. I think there must be a lot of lonely males out there. And they apparently use social media differently than we women do. Lots of creepy people on line. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

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