Dear Everyone Using Instagram,

I've had a few experiences lately that I think it would benefit you to learn about. Instagram is a fun social app that connects us all using gorgeous photography, hilarious memes, and cute selfies, and has a lot of fun and interesting features...

...but a lot of people, honestly, don't really know how to use it.

There are a few features I'm thinking of: blocking, muting, unsending messages; that, as a woman dating millennials, comes in handy pretty often for me. If a guy gets creepy in my DMs, blocked. If a breakup goes sour, unfollow. If I don't want to see my friend's adorable marriage photos anymore but don't want to hurt her feelings, mute.

Here's my thing: Instagram should be used the way you feel like using it. It's up to your audience to decide if they want to follow you or not and if they don't anymore? Fine. But one thing to note: be careful.  With social media so prevalent in our careers, a lot of people run more than one account and when you block them, it can be more obvious than you think. Sometimes, muting is a better option (muting is Instagram's best feature, as far as I'm concerned).

I understand if friendships fall apart or hookups get weird and you just want to separate yourself, but it hurts more when you discover that someone is now trying to sneak out of your life using the social media version of the Irish Exit. My advice? If you need to block, try, as hard as you can, not to make it obvious.

Another thing I feel like I should warn you about: UNSENT MESSAGES ARE NOT YOURS AND INSTAGRAM'S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET. This is my contribution to the world; letting you know that when you unsend a message in your DM's, the person on the other end of the conversation gets a notification that you unsent the message. If you're freaking out right now, I'm sorry but also now you know.

It hurts more when you discover that someone you once trusted is now trying to sneak out of your life using the social media version of the Irish Exit.

Look, social media in general is hard, especially when you combine it with dating. It's filled with games and subtle hints that you don't always catch and unsubtle blocking and orbiting and ghosting and what do all these new terms mean anyway?

Overall, though, it can be a fun place to meet people, a great way to connect, and a place to feel confident about yourself...if you stay smart. Block with caution. Post without abandon (to an extent). And overall, just be nice.


An Avid Instagram User (Scruggs)

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