Thursday, 25th February 2021

How to follow old school friends on social media without them realising

WANT to snoop on your former schoolmates in a pathetic attempt to feel good about yourself? Here’s how to pry without getting caught.

Stay away from reaction buttons

Unless you’ve got the steady hands of a keyhole surgeon, keep well away from reaction buttons. All it takes is one false move and before you know it you’ve blown your cover by liking a photo in an album titled ‘Magaluf 2012’. No point undoing it either, they’ll have seen.

Don’t send a friend request

A bit weird if you barely knew them, and almost certainly won’t work if you bullied them. If you dropped their pencil case down the toilet in 1995, they won’t want you sniffing around now. Even worse, a friend request could prompt them to heighten their security settings, and then how will you poke around their life while failing to live your own?

Keep comments to yourself

Resist the temptation to post that witty come-back to a playground insult which you’ve been honing for the last few decades. There was probably a tragic context to their actions like their parents getting divorced, and you’ll look like a terrible person, when all you’re doing is some harmless spying on them in the hope that their life has gone horribly wrong.

Overanalyse their profile picture

On the surface it looks like they’re blissfully happy on the deck of their yacht with their gorgeous spouse, but stare at their profile picture for hours and you’re bound to find (ie. invent) telltale signs of failure. Is that glass of buck’s fizz they’re holding proof of an out-of-control drinking problem? Clearly the answer is ‘yes’.

Create a burner account

Setting up a fake account is strictly for hardcore busybodies, but if your old school friend adds you you’ll get anonymous access to their profile. It has its risks though – they might invite you to join a group where everyone remembers and hates the real you, and you’ll have to join it to maintain the facade.