How to covertly mark your territory online

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019 00:44 |

There is no denying social media has greatly changed how people connect, especially for millennials. It is increasingly influencing how people fall in love and share the same with the world. And more than ever, a big part of the lives of this demographic is being experienced online— and even fully lived. 

While the millenials do not shy away from openly declaring their love interests on the Internet, there are those who do not feel the need to make their intentions too obvious for one reason or another. They adopt covert ways of documenting love online as they  mark their territory. 

“The reason I resort to covert means of declaring love interest is because I am being cautious. I do not want a backlash in  case there is trouble in paradise,” says Michael Mwangi, a play director. 

Photos speak

The photos in this case are not the kind that come with gushing captions. They are the kind of images that subtly say; this is it! These photos elicit questions, but the aim of the sender is to leave the audience to draw their own conclusions without necessarily saying anything.  

There are other stand-alone photos where the comments unravel the puzzle. “Recently I spotted a photo of a guy I have been eyeing on social media. It was in a restaurant set up and the guy was alone looking like he was having a good time,” says Wambui Mwangi, a sales woman. “I had a great time,” one of the comments on the post read and now Wambui gets the point that this guy may be attached after all.  

Relevant Hashtags

A once in a while #MCM (Man Crush Monday) and #WCW (Women Crush Wednesday)may just be used by some to refer to people they admire. Subsequent MCMs or WCW or other hash tags of the same person could be pointing to something else. Some use it as covert way of sending a message across that there may be more than just admiration 

Commenting on every post

There is this guy or chick that likes every photo and comments on every post. Well, it could be nothing beyond that, but truth is often times it will be someone’s way of marking territory. Have you noticed that chick or dude who is tagged on literally every photo and one who comments on every post? If you are an admirer, don’t say that the signs were never out on the wall for you to see.

Birthday wishes given some thought

Happy birthday to this amazing soul, Best Friend Forever (BFF), thank you for sticking with me through tough times… and the posts go on and on. These long thoughtful posts may bear all there is to say.

Inside jokes

If you are trying too hard to get the joke in someone’s funny post, it’s probably because the sender did not have you in mind. The person tagged in the post gets the joke and that goes to say the message reached the intended audience. Why would it be sent to a public timeline if it was private? You ask. It is so that you, too, can read between the lines. 

According to Mumbi Ndung’u, a social media expert, in as much as people have the urge to share about their lives on social media, they are also afraid of the reaction they would get. “Online users are adopting covert ways of sharing, especially to make their relationships safer. It is their way of testing the waters,” says Mumbi.

In some cases though, using non-obvious ways of sending the message is done as a way of seeking validation. According to Mumbi, people share in such a manner to seek a second opinion, especially at the onset of a new relationship. 

Based on the reaction they get, they either decide to keep going or end it altogether. It is their way of gauging what people think about them being together. “For others, however, it is a way of being safe, j ust in case at some point the relationship goes wrong, they can easily pick the pieces without so much embarrassment,” adds Mumbi.

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