Image Credit: Ramachandra Babu/©Gulf News

Ah millennials… It’s not enough for young couples to simply just tell their friends that they are ‘officially together’. They need to make it more official than that. They need to make it ‘Instagram official’.

On Justin Bieber’s birthday, Selena Gomez posted a photo of herself on what seems to be a tour bus, with a Polaroid picture of her on-again, off-again beau. The caption said “March 1, 1994 someone I know that happens to be super cool was born”. That was her subtle way of going Instagram official. Although both of them have been secretly back together for months, this Instagram post made the news of their coupling, ‘official’.


March 1, 1994 someone I know that happens to be super cool was born. Boom.

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

I wouldn’t just post a photo of myself with a boy unless he was a serious partner that I am considering to marry. This guy needs to really be up there in the ranks in order to be featured on my Instagram.

Why? Because going Instagram official, is a public announcement, where you tell the world that you are not just dating, you are not just talking, you are full-on together. So the idea of going Instagram official, should be done carefully and not with haste.

Just a few years ago, the most popular thing to do after being in an official relationship, was to update your relationship status on Facebook. It used to be the social platform’s most popular feature. It was iconic and was a way for people to broadcast their relationship complications, break ups, marriages, and engagements.

In a way, it was the perfect tool to use to get attention for when your relationship is on the rocks. These days people cringe at the TMI (too much information) and only stick to updating their status if they are married. Otherwise, the feature has definitely lost its glamour.

Going Instagram official isn’t just for people who live and breathe social media. It is a great way to eliminate any speculation about a relationship or avoid the awkward “Sooooo I’ve been seeing this new person” conversation with people.

My friend Alex recently told me “I don’t care about social media, but I didn’t want to keep answering the question of whether or not we were together. I am not someone who talks about relationships, so this was just my easy way to put the news out there and continue living my life.”

There are also other people, who will play the social media long game. They spend months showing glimpses of someone’s arm, a shot of two shadows while on a walk or a candle lit dinner with two settings, to keep people on the edge of their seat about their relationship status. Then one day, they surprise the world with a photo of them together and a vague caption, because they are cool like that.

When model Emily Ratajkowski got married to her boyfriend, all she did was post a photo of them embracing, while she wore a yellow pantsuit (not even a white dress!) The photo was very simply captioned with two emoji diamond rings and the word “ny”. Very understated, also very cool.



A post shared by Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) on

Hierarchy of platforms

An Instagram feed is a platform that people spend lots of time curating. It’s a personal photo album and a favourite among social media users. When it comes to updating your personal statuses, some platforms are more important than others.

For example, putting your significant other on an Insta-story doesn’t particularly mean that much, because it’s a temporary, casual platform that disappears after 24 hours. It’s just a “oh look who’s around?” situation, rather than something slightly more permanent on an Instagram feed. Posts are definitely more significant. Other platforms like snapchat and twitter also don’t mean much in terms of relationship status. They are, similar to Instagram stories, fleeting and casual.

What if no one ever goes Insta official with you?

Although we live in social media mania,there are people out there, who feel like Instagram announcements make them nervous and anxious. They don’t like to post about their significant other, no matter how serious they are.

In the Middle East and among many of my friends, it has to do with family members gossiping about their photos and asking each other why there’s a certain boy or girl featured there. “I don’t want people to be overly nosy about my love life, especially not any of my more conservative family members. Once I am officially engaged, I will put up one photo, and it serves and some sort of announcement that we are together” said one of my Egyptian girlfriends. “Instead of hosting a thousand people at your house with the intention of spreading the news, you can now just post a photo on Insta and it does the job for you.”

When another one of my friends got engaged, she didn’t put up a post and that’s why only around five people knew that she was off the market. “It’s not my style” she told me when I asked her about it.

Either way, don’t fret too much. Social media isn’t everything in life. But soon one day, you can make your relationship Instagram official...If it deserves to be.