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How to Spot a Breakup on Instagram

The Telltale Signs Your Crush Has Ended Things with Their Significant Other

By Kady Ruth Ashcraft ·
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My Memorial Day Weekend ended, as many do, with a barrage of Instagram engagement announcements. Some were explicit ring-to-camera poses, while others were less curated but nevertheless purposeful displays of a life event. Even just this past week I saw a post in my feed declaring someone was off the market. Congrats, by the way. As obnoxious or overwhelming those posts might be, they let you know what’s going on in this person’s life. Proposals are exactly what social media was intended for: bragging and shiny things.

But there is one life event that doesn’t get posted about explicitly on social media: breakups. This makes sense, obviously. It’s not your proudest moment, and unless you’re running a depression meme account, it isn’t necessary to flaunt. However, it is something your followers want to know—particularly those who harbor some sort of unrequited love. I can speak, as someone who is very nosy, from experience. Your acquaintances and/or crush might not deliberately post that they and their S.O have separated, but they have left clues in their posts. Here are the telltale signs...

A Series of Suspiciously Happy Photos
The easiest tell tale sign of a breakup is a series of pictures of the user having the most fun of their life. Are they on a beach? Yes. Are they reconnecting with old friends on said beach? Duh. Are they all drinking a responsible amount and flaunting their recent promotions while drinking on the beach? Sure, if they can fit it in the photo! These are classic "'Since You've Been Gone' plays on repeat" type photos, sometimes paired with captions like "time flies when you're having fun" or "great to have time again to reconnect with these people!"

A Sudden and Inexplicable Change in Hair
Bangs are a tell tale sign the girl is going through an emotional upheaval. Bangs, plus a green-tinged filter = a messy breakup. Your target is a boy? Sudden change in facial hair. That grisly beard? Gone. Didn't have facial hair before? Hello Selleck mustache. You can change your hair (facial or head) faster than your emotional state, so sometimes it acts as a trial run into newfound singledom. 

A Strange Influx of Poetry 
Sometimes a picture cannot capture the intense emotions of a breakup, which is when song lyrics come into play. These aren't your fun Kanye lyric captions. No, these moments require Drake. If the breakup was particularly heinous, you can expect to see a photo captioned with poetry. You might be wondering how you distinguish between a breakup lyric-captioned photo and just a regular lyric-captioned photo. Here's how: the former has zero correlation between the sad lyrics and the skyline in the photo. 

An Abstract Composition
One of my first posts post-breakup was of lens-flared light streaming through a window onto the floor. Was it in black and white? Yes, of course. Was there a caption? Well, no but I did put an "ocean wave emoji." The more terribly abstract and resembling a college photo thesis the picture, the more likely a breakup has occurred. 

Radio Silence
More telling than any photo is no photos at all. Was the user once a frequent poster, often sharing pics of them and their boo at happy hours or on the couch and now they've gone dark? Maybe they're re-strategizing on their new theme, now that it can no longer be "love." Similarly, and this is almost as much a giveaway as flat out admitting you broke up, is they've removed pictures of their relationship from their page. This obviously requires a more intimate knowledge of the user's feed pre-split. But this is your crush we're talking about, so who are you kidding...

Kady Ruth Ashcraft is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and Amtrak Princess. Follow her on twitter @kadyrabbit and tweet her pictures of your pets.

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