We all know or have been an Instastalker at one point in our lives. It’s the 21st century. Whether you’ve been on a crush’s profile, or a new friend you’re a little bit obsessed with, somebody’s name probably shows up at the top of your search bar. And if you’ve been an Instastalker, you can bet you have an Instastalker. There’s no in-app way to tell who views your Instagram profile. But if you want to find your Intastalker, here’s where to start. 

What’s An Instastalker?

An Instastalker doesn’t go as far as a real stalker. While they might not follow you home, they’ll watch all your stories and probably visit your profile several times a day. You might notice somebody’s name move to the top of the list of who views your Instagram stories. Chances are, that’s your Instastalker! Basically, if someone is paying way too much attention to your online presence, specifically on Instagram,. they’re your Instastalker.i

Instagram and Safety 

The internet has come a long way from the chatroom days of the late ‘90s. Growing up, many of us were told never to reveal our real names, ages, or locations. Now it feels like that’s all you’re supposed to do. Something missing in the conversations about Instagram, however, is the topic of safety. 

Before we return to the topic of Instastalkers, it’s always a good idea to practice online safety. It can be tempting to post a picture of your house or a location you frequent on the way home from school or work. But remember that people can see what you post, and if you’re often Instagramming from the same locations with the same people, it’s not difficult to put the pieces together about the rest of your life. Especially for young women and underage girls, this can be a dangerous practice. While an Instastalker may not go that far, that’s not to say that somebody else won’t. 

While you may not need to go all the way back to chatroom days, be careful about what you post and how much you’re revealing about your life. Having an Instastalker isn’t dangerous, but information in the wrong hands definitely can be. 

How to Tell If You Have An Instastalker

Unfortunately, there’s no way to see who’s viewed your profile on Instagram. You can see who watches your stories (including that Tinder date that ghosted you and is still, inexplicably, there.) If you’ve got an Instagram business account and you’re keeping up with your insights, you can gather the data about how many people have visited your profile – but you can’t see the individual accounts. Instagram has this data, of course, but they’ve made absolutely no indication that they intend to share it at any point in time. So if you want to find out who your Instastalker is, you’ll have to get creative. 

Can I Use An App to Find My Instastalker? 

No Instagram in-app function? No problem, you think. Just go to the app store and search “Who viewed my Instagram profile?” You’ll be met with a plethora of third-party apps that claim they can collect the data on who’s visited your Instagram profile. 

The problem, of course, is that most of these apps straight-up do not work. Instead of showing you who is actually looking at your profile, they’ll offer up a list of fake, randomly-generated usernames. They’re also generally ad heavy or will ask for money to see more than five names. While that may seem like a good deal to you, there’s no guarantee that they will ever show you a real name. Even once you fork over the cash! 

There’s a simple reason these apps don’t work. Instagram has the data, but it doesn’t share it with anybody. Not you, and certainly not third-party apps. Some apps can track who followed or unfollowed you, but beyond that, Instagram is stingy with its data when it comes to third-party apps. There’s also no telling how third-party apps will use your data and honestly, many of them are sketchy to begin with. So practice discretion when it comes to allowing them (or any other app, for that matter) access to your profile. 

The Best Way to Find Your Instastalker…

The best way to find out if you have an Instastalker is to keep an eye on your Instagram stories. Those who interact with your profile the most will show up close to the top of the list of who views your stories. If you’re worried that someone doesn’t have pure intentions, tap the x to the right of their name and block them. You can also consider switching to a private profile, but be warned that everyone who already follows you will still have access to your account. 

What to Do If You ARE an Instastalker?

If you’re the one who can’t resist refreshing someone’s page twenty times a day, it might be time to reassess your own life and habits. It’s easy to fall into a rabbit hole when we want to know everything we can about a person. However, not curbing those habits can turn things unhealthy pretty quickly. If you’ve got an instastalking problem, here are some steps you can take to have a healthier relationship with Instagram: 

  • Reassess why this is so important to you.

Oftentimes when we are stalking someone on Instagram, the feelings we’re associating with another person aren’t positive. The amount of energy you’re devoting to looking at one person’s profile could probably be better spent elsewhere. Think about why you want to know about this person and what information you want to gain from their profile. 

  • Take time away from Instagram. 

If Instastalking has become a problem for you, it may be smart to take some time away from Instagram until the obsession blows over. Ask a trusted friend to change your password or temporarily disable your account. 

  • Reach out directly to someone. 

If you’re obsessed with somebody, why not just reach out to them? Whether that’s inviting a crush for coffee or talking things over with a former friend, chances are people are more willing to resolve something than you think. Don’t torture yourself with Instastalking. Just take a chance in real life. 

There’s No Real Way to Tell

Thanks to Instagram’s privacy rules, there’s no legitimate way to tell who’s visited your profile, which means finding your Instastalker is a difficult game. The best way to do it is just to keep an eye on your Instagram stories – including the accounts that don’t follow you. Be wary of third-party apps that claim to let you know who’s viewed your profile. 

If you are an Instastalker, it may be time to reconsider the way you use the app. You’ll also want to consider why you devote so much time to Instastalking and what you may be avoiding in your real life. Reach out to someone or step away from Instagram for a bit. And as always, be safe about what you’re posting in the app. 

The world has changed rapidly, and with it so have the rules of the online sphere. Stay safe, stay smart, and don’t worry too hard about your Instastalkers. We all have them, and we’ve all been them, too.