You’d think we couldn’t create more dating trends in 2018, after years of bread-crumbing, ghosting, orbiting and so on. But you could be wrong (said in this voice):
There’s a new one, and it’ll cut you right to the heart because you’re 100000% guilty of it. We all are, tbh.
Welcome to ‘Gatsbying’. I was alerted to the trend via this piece on TOMBOY Beauty, written by Australian model Matilda Dods. It’s basically the act of posting Instagram Stories for the specific purpose of one human being seeing it – usually someone you’re dating, want to date, or used to date.
20 minutes later you pull your phone out again, and immediately check to see if *they’ve* seen it. You know who *they* are. It is that guy or gal whose attention you’re trying to get with the video you just posted. You also know what I’m talking about…
Matilda puts it this way.
To post a video, picture or selfie to public social media purely for a love interest to see it.
The term is taken from The Great Gatsby – in case you weren’t a) forced to read the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel in high school or b) introduced to it in your 20’s when you actually understood all the themes, the eponymous character throws wild, lavish parties for the express purpose of having Daisy Buchanan, his long-time love interest, attend. He’s not having fun! He’s just pretending to have fun so she will be impressed by his wealth and generosity and somehow come to love him because of it.
In much the same way except with a lot less money, we all do this with our Instagram Stories. We take curated snaps of us looking our best, zesty videos showing how extremely enjoyable our night on the town is, boomerangs of our 40 mates (like 6 of them are our actual mates) and tactical videos of hot guys/girls with their arms around us in a “is that just funsies or are they gonna fuck later” way.
Then instead of having actual fun we obsessively refresh and scroll the views to see if THAT GUY or THAT GIRL has seen the content that was created specifically for them. On a good night, we get a DM response to something in the Story. On a bad one they say absolutely nothing or worse – watch the first clip and then skip over our Story entirely.
We wouldn’t do it if it didn’t (sometimes) work. I have absolutely had times where I’ve posted a spicy Instagram Story only to elicit the exact “haha where are u?” response I was hoping for. Cue some form of hook up and/or flirty convo. I’ve seen it work for friends. For work-mates. Etc etc.
It’s all fun and games and WHATEVER, we’re gonna do it anyway – but… let’s always remember that, as Matilda says, 90% of the time the guy/girl you’re trying to score a morsel of attention from is probably a bit of a shit-head who fucked you over or barely gives you the time of day.
Why, instead of just sending a text to the boy that I like, am I throwing the equivalent of a champagne soaked, chandelier swinging, Charleston dancing party on my Instagram story? All for… the attention of a boy who, let’s be real, probably isn’t good enough for me anyway?
In short – you’re better than Gatsbying, love yourself, back yourself, fuck ’em if they can’t see what a gem you are.
But also in a very real way, pls hold for my 400th Gatsbying moment of this… month.