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Do People Know If You Unfollow Them On Instagram?

Oh Instagram, you ubiquitous enabler of social stalking — I mean, um, peeking into the lives of your friends. Yes, that sounds much better. OK, let's be honest here: Who hasn't done a little Instagram creeping? We — I mean, um, all the other people who do this — know the cardinal rule: Only look, never like. But sometimes, you fall out of like with someone and you really don't need to see their Instagram posts anymore because you're totally above that. Now, let's think about this from the other side of those photos and the people who take them. Do people know if you unfollow them on Instagram?

Fret not, fellow Instagrammers. Your secrets are safe — for the most part. According to Instagram's Help Center, "People won't be notified when you unfollow them." So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth.

But of course, that doesn't mean someone can't figure out that you've unfollowed them on Instagram. In fact, there are actually lots of ways to tell if someone unfollowed you on Instagram. You can do it the old-fashioned way by manually looking at your list and checking your followers one by one, or you can use any one of these three apps to see who's unfollowed you on Instagram.

Hey, at least you can take solace in the fact that if you do unfollow someone on Instagram, the actual Instagram app won't be sending them a notification about it. That said, lets talk for a quick sec about this whole "Instagram creeper" phenomenon, because of course that's a thing.

Instagram has made social creeping actually pretty easy for users as they don't provide notifications for when someone unfollows you. People aren't notified when you remove someone as a follower on Instagram, either. Social media has created a whole new beast of online social etiquette — heaven forbid someone finds out they've been unfollowed and you've dropped them from your social feed.

But this also creates an environment where it's super easy to just scope out someone from afar across their social media accounts — and it doesn't take much for social media creeping to turn into actual online cyber stalking. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as many as 1 in 4 people have been victims of some form of cyber stalking.

Retired police detective Mike Proctor and cyberstalking expert Jennifer Perry spoke with ATTN: last year and shared five important ways to tell if you're being cyber stalked. They include:

  1. Someone checking your social media counts to the point of obsession.
  2. Even if you try to block them, they still find ways to connect with you online.
  3. They start social creeping on your friends, family, and other followers to whom you're connected.
  4. You get your personal info doxxed by them.
  5. They know where you are all the time, thanks to timestamps and location check-ins.

So, will your unfollowed Instagram peeps know what's up? Nope — but even though they might not know it from Instagram, they can still find out. Stay safe out there on the interwebs, people.