Do you ever stalk people you meet on dating apps? I don't mean, like, showing up outside their house with binoculars — I mean scrolling through their Instagram to make sure they're not catfishing you, or asking your mutual Facebook friends if they're cool before you agree to a date. I know I do. And I wondered if guys stalk their crushes on Instagram, too.
If you're prone to putting your detective skills to work, you're not alone: 75 percent of women and 59 percent of men check out their date's social media profiles before meeting in person, according to a study published earlier this year by Australian dating site Elite Singles.
This terrifies me just a tad, because my entire life is visible online, spanning from Boomerangs of my cat on Instagram to sexual health stories I've written for work. So I had to ask guys: To what extent do they stalk their dating app matches? What methods do they use? And have they ever liked a girl less because of what they found? In other words: how worried should I really be?
Here, six men tell Elite Daily just how much they investigate their dating app matches before asking them out or meeting up for a first date.
This guy once stumbled across porn his match starred in.
— Dan, 30
This man looks at your profile to help him plan the perfect first date.
— Alexander, 24
This guy feels like stalking is an invasion of privacy.
— Tyler, 24
This dude encourages his matches to stalk him so they feel safer.
— Ben, 28
This man tries not to stalk that often.
— Laurence, 25
This guy stalks because he wants to confirm you're on the dating app for the right reasons.
— Wes, 27
If you're really concerned about being the subject of your date's next detective mission, you can always lock down your accounts' privacy settings. But unless you're posting racist memes, you probably have nothing to worry about — and if you are posting racist memes, I really can't help you at that point. Just don't. Stop. You're a terrible person.
If your accounts are open to the public, you might get stalked, and you might not. But you always have a weapon at your disposal: stalking your matches right back.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.