instagram and relationships

I have to quickly punch out this stream of thoughts before I let go of them and they get added to the ever-growing to-do list that I'll never get around to.

Credits: This reflection was inspired by Andrew's Rawrs here and here.

I've been on instagram for almost a year now. As with most of my good ideas, Rick was on it long before I was. I thought it was dumb... and kind of creepy all at the same time.

Instagram = mobile phone app that lets folks share photos and follow other users photos. That's it. Twitter in pictures. You can set your pictures to private or you can leave your posts wide-open, but you have to be "on" instagram to view regardless.

There is an interesting phenomenon that has now happened multiple times... beyond the point of coincidence. In the same way that you can engage and be present on Twitter... and eventually have to clean out and prune your Twitter stream, the same can be said about instagram. You first follow your friends. Then, after awhile, you follow some of your friends' friends. And then, all of a sudden, patterns and networks emerge.


Rick started following a couple who live in Miami and who love Disney as much as we do. I began following shortly after we exchanged contact information and we regularly message with them - and are planning trips for the future (Hey, Matt & Joel!)

We also started following another couple - one-half lives here in Vancouver and the other in Tennessee - and the half that lives here in Vancouver has been absolutely amazing at helping us learn a completely new city and culture. The Tennessee-half we've had the luck to meet virtually a few times, but are looking forward to future chats and the possibility of trips and visits. (Hey, Bernie & James!)

Just this past weekend we met up with a couple (Hey, Danny & Ryan!) at Disneyland and rode a few rides and enjoyed dinner together.

Last case.

I'm really not sure how I landed on or began following this other couple (Slade & Chris), but I did many weeks ago. I think what drew me to their photos were their apparent differences in appearance - and this is a complete stereotype based only on their photos, photos they've decided to share on instagram.

From following their lives and their relationship through pictures, you can tell that Slade & Chris are a great couple. They care a great deal for each other, they love each other. And a few weeks ago, I hate to admit it, I was crushed when they broke up.

Trust me - I questioned myself and reflected and processed with Rick why I was so moved by their break up. I've never met them, never spoke to them!

But there is something there, there is something different (I think) about sharing your life in photos. In the cases above Rick and I have been blown away (once we can meet/talk in person or synchronously) by just how much we are able to glean about someone's life from their photos. And, on top of that, how connected we already feel to these folks who we share our lives with through pictures.

Why this post and why right now?

I got home from class tonight and Rick told me the best news of the day: Slade and Chris got back together. You see, when they broke up, I stopped following them both. I know, I know - judge me. But I knew them as a couple on instagram... and I couldn't watch their lives develop separately. Here they are back together... and halfway across the continent I'm absolutely giddy for them.

I'm not sure what this means, but I just had to share. I love my instagram relationships... the ones that we have really connected with and the others that we just follow along from afar.


  1. good to read your article, it has always in Bollywood, we have seen on-screen couples romancing off-screen. When they separate we do not follow them. But still feel if they get back together it would be great to see them together ..

  2. That is an amazing story. I think it speaks to how much the human condition yearns for connections. If you think about it, it makes sense. Think about how attached we get to fleshed-out fictional characters, and how we start to feel that those people who enter our homes through the TV are our friends. Pictures, especially, are such an intimate peek into other's lives. Thanks for sharing.


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