Earlier this week, it that Instagram was testing a terrible new feature: notifying people if you take a screenshot of their Story. And while that makes creeping significantly more difficult and holds the potential for widespread humiliation, that potential has always been there — you’re always one slip of the finger away from liking a new Tinder match’s 75-week-old Instagram photo or friend-requesting an ex’s mom.
In light of this, we’ve rounded up stories of some of your worst social-media moments. Stay safe out there, everybody.
I made my ex’s name my Facebook status.
“Around the time Facebook added the status bar, I was going through a breakup and doing the normal thing — daily (many times throughout the day) check-ins for new social activity. I went to the Facebook search bar and typed in my ex’s name, then the phone rang, so I abandoned my computer (what if he was calling me??). A few hours later, a friend asked me why I’d made my status update [EX-BOYFRIEND’S NAME]. I deleted Facebook; the only thing to do.”
I accidentally posted a guy’s photo to my Facebook wall.
“So once, a guy I was friendly with, David,* asked me out on a date. It was over text, which was pretty disappointing, and I already knew I was going to say no, but I was in class and bored, so I started stalking him on Facebook. I was looking through his profile pictures, getting a better look at this guy, and then the class ended, so I closed my laptop and went home. About an hour later, I got a notification that someone liked a photo that I had shared on my Facebook wall. I was so confused; I hadn’t shared any photos on my wall recently. I clicked on the notification, and staring back at me was David’s profile picture, which I accidentally had shared on my wall and hadn’t noticed! I was mortified. This was so much worse than accidentally liking an old photo because it was on my Facebook wall for ALL to see. I immediately deleted it (over an hour after posting), prayed he hadn’t seen, though he probably got a notification, and then rejected his date (over text). We are actually still friendly, though he has never brought the incident up, thank god.”
My roommate liked my ex’s new girlfriend’s very old Instagram photo.
“The person I had been dating dumped me for another girl (and was probably dating both of us at the same time, but that’s neither here nor there). I found the other girl’s Instagram and passed my phone to my roommate so she could stalk her. While scrolling through the girl’s Instagram, my roommate accidentally liked a pic of her doing yoga … six months prior. I didn’t realize it for a few minutes, but when I did, I promptly unliked it and wanted to die.”
I friend-requested a guy’s mom after going on one date with him.
“I was creeping on a guy I went on one date with and ended up on his mom’s FB page creeping on their family-vacation photos … and I accidentally sent her a friend request! I canceled it after a very brief freak-out, but not fast enough. She asked her son about it, I assume, and he (understandably) ghosted me pretty much immediately after.”
My mom liked his Instagram photo right after we started dating.
“About three years ago, I met a guy (organically, go figure) and made the first move to go out on a date. We went out a few times and I was into him. It was mutual, but it wasn’t to the point where we followed each other on any social accounts. However, my superior stalking skills already found his public Instagram account, which was sparse, but included a few cute photos of him that I admired secretly every once in a while.
My mother, living in Ohio, wanted to feel in the loop when it came to my dating life. So, when she came into town for the weekend, I decided to show her a photo of him on his Instagram posted about a year prior. She went to zoom in on his photo by double tapping his picture! Sure enough, Instagram cruelly doesn’t work that way. I saw the heart pop up and tore my phone out of her hands. I was MORTIFIED. My mom’s Instagram handle is her first and last name, and I knew he would know immediately that it was a family member. Because this is a common fear, I tested out the ‘like and then immediately unlike a photo’ method. You still get the notification on your phone instantaneously. About a month later, this guy and I were talking about Instagram and we followed each other. Casually at dinner, he brings up, ‘Oh by the way, that was cute, your mom liked my photo’ and looked at me with a smile. I turned beet red and just owned up to it. Luckily, we had mutual respect and just laughed it off.”
I liked my boss’s old shirtless selfie.
“I was once deep-stalking a former boss (he was still my boss at the time) and accidentally liked a shirtless swimsuit photo from wayyyyy back — I think it was a couple years old. I unliked it right away, but he still blocked me. And then stopped making eye contact at work.”
I liked my company’s new executives’ ancient Instagram post right after a meeting.
“The company I worked for had recently been acquired by a larger company, and we were being brought in for lots of inter-department meetings where we had to explain what we did to boring old guys in suits who didn’t really seem to care about what we did anyway. Then one day, we had one of those meetings with this young, suave exec who swept the whole (mostly women) staff off their feet with otherwise unremarkable social skills such as ‘making eye contact,’ ‘remembering our names,’ and ‘sounding excited about the work we would do together.’ Also, he was tall and handsome. After the meeting, as the staff debriefed over Slack, someone quickly dug up the young exec’s Instagram account and sent it around. I was clicking through his photos and sharing some with the staff — you know, fascinating shit like ‘here he is with a dog,’ ‘here he is with his girlfriend whom he appears to love and respect’ — when I inadvertently hit the fucking heart with the fucking cursor on a post. This all occurred about six minutes after we’d left the meeting. The photo, which was of him holding an adorable child, was somewhere around 60 weeks old.
I quickly unliked it and considered quitting my job on the spot. Luckily, I never saw the young exec again, so I guess he was just another suit after all. Always creep in incognito.”
I kept sending a guy voice memos of myself talking about him.
“I was casually seeing this very hot guy (skater, painter, incredible bod, very cute and nice, good dresser, eventually ghosted me) last fall. I was super hot for him, so when I was out with my friends, I would show them pictures of him and be like, ‘Wow, he hasn’t texted me back tonight’ or like, ‘Isn’t he so hot,’ and they would agree. Then TWO SEPARATE TIMES, I accidentally SENT HIM A VOICE MEMO of myself talking about him. I am 99 percent sure that these memos were incomprehensible and half-a-second long, but it was maybe the most mortifying technology-related dating experience I’ve ever had. And then I’d have to send a text afterward like, ‘Lol oops!’ and hate myself for a short period of time.”
I tagged myself in a photo of my ex and his new girlfriend.
“Several months ago, I was doing a 2 a.m. Facebook dive into some photos that had recently appeared of an ex (whom I still have a weird friendship with), fell asleep, and woke up to the realization that I’d done the thing where I’d tagged myself in the photo of the dude and his new girlfriend. I messaged him first thing and explained that I have fat fingers (true!) and that the ‘tag yourself’ feature was relatively new on mobile (also true). He sort of laughed it off and we moved on, but I will never forget.”
*Name has been changed.