New yorker article about online dating
Kristine Mahan, 23, of Denver, came to experience orbiting after a “painfully digital” seven-months-long relationship with someone who lived in Minnesota while she lived in Boston.One day, not two weeks after they had last visited each other, he stopped responding to texts and Snapchats all at once and without warning, as if the past several months had been simply deleted.“One thing he didn’t stop doing, though, was watching my Stories and liking photos on Instagram,” Ms. At first she felt hurt by the silence and confused by her ex’s sustained surveillance of her online life. Mahan came to see the behavior as a form of contact.Instagram Stories stream seamlessly into one another (and ads), so it’s possible to view someone’s day-to-day updates by accident, without ever digging deeper into their posting history.Regardless, it’s a fact that dating is confusing, and orbiting can make that worse.“I felt the urge to send subliminal messages via my Instagram Stories, knowing that was the only way I could communicate with him,” she said.
Prying eyes on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter can be exciting when they come from a prospective romantic partner, confusing when unrequited and infuriating when the looker is an ex.
Liking selfies, on the other hand, is an optimal way to orbit someone without acknowledging their existence offline.
It should also be said that orbiting isn’t always intentional.
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“The bold ones will go far and like things from way back, which is definitely saying something,” she said, referencing posts on her Instagram account.