The delicate art of “subgramming” on Instagram

Hi, my name is Ali, and I am an Internet expert.

Okay, not really. But I’ve put in enough couch time with my laptop to feel confident saying that we are in a pretty serious, maybe even exclusive relationship. However, I fear this relationship has become toxic.

Maybe you’ve heard of sub-tweeting. You know, where you talk about someone on Twitter without actually @ replying them.  Well, I have CHANGED THE GAME because I have created subgramming. Or I have at least created the word, because I looked it up on Urban Dictionary and it does not have a definition yet!

What is subgramming? Subgramming is the art of communicating with someone over Instagram, through photos, without actually mentioning them at all.  Essentially, you are laying digital traps in order to catch the attention of a very specific follower.

Here is how to sub-Instagram.


Cluelessing is the act of photographing gifts you’ve sent yourself, with the intention of making your crush curious. Works best with flowers, chocolates, and clothing you bought yourself. Be mysterious about who they are from! Great time to whip out that present emoji.

Location Scouting

Post a picture of a party you’re at, a beautiful view, or a plate of food. Important: do not tag people or add location! Where is she? How long is she gone for? Who is she with? THEY WILL NEVER KNOW.  YOU ARE A MYSTERIOUS AND UNOBTAINABLE CREATURE LIVING YOUR OWN LIFE!

A Gif is Worth a Thousand Words:

You know this one….It’s where you post a picture of Dexter screaming and under it write “mood” after you’ve gotten in a fight with your crush. This tactic is good for when you need to get a verbal message across to someone, but also want to provide something relatable to your followers, you know?

Inside Joking

Hard to say if this is even a subgram, because the person of interest will pretty much know that it’s for him or her. The intention? To spark up a memory, to let someone know you’re thinking about her or him, to drum up conversation.  Maybe throw up a picture from that movie you both love, or lyrics from a song you made out to once.

Inspirational Quotes

Listen, sometimes you just have to use Instagram as a digital vision board. It’s like the time I got broken up with, and then posted a quote that said “some people aren’t looking for love, they’re just looking for HELP.” Here’s the thing about doing this though: it can look obvious and the whole “sub” cover goes out the window. Quote with caution, people.

Do I subgram? Yep, you bet I do. Do I recommend doing it? Probably not, it’s a bit passive-aggressive.

But have I just provided you with a pretty good list on how to do it should you want to? Maybe…

(Image via Shutterstock)

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