Is Social Media Orbiting Bad? 4 Reasons Why People Orbit & How to Protect Yourself

By Reniel


Last Updated: November 22, 2021

It is usually unexpected, weird, and then annoying if it lingers.

Orbiting is when someone who isn’t directly communicating with you still makes time to:

  • View your stories
  • Comment on your posts or likes
  • Shares your content online on a regular basis

Social media has made finding, connecting with, and following people super easy.

We all follow our favorite celebrity, and may even clamor to be the first to like, comment, and share their content. It is totally normal to want to engage with the contents of the people you admire.

But, when it comes to celebrities, we all know that the reason they don’t respond to us is simply that they can’t. With hundreds of engagements offline, and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of notifications and messages daily, their inbox is usually crowded, noisy, and sometimes abandoned.

So it makes sense that we can’t chat with them.

But, when it is an everyday person – even if they tend to be very busy people – we're sure that their inboxes are usually not that flooded. If anything, we are sure that if they get online, and we message them, we should get a reply not after more than an hour or two.

So, when someone who appears particularly invested in us (judging from their interaction with our pictures, videos, or tweets), still resists the urge to speak to us directly (even though our inboxes are clearly open), it raises a lot of questions.

It makes us wonder why they are orbiting us rather than speaking to us.


4 Reasons Why Someone Would Orbit You

Now, orbiting can take place in different scenarios – done by different categories of persons, and at different points in time – and it usually feels different in all cases. For example, orbiters can exist as:

1. Strangers

When we wake up to 15 new likes from one person, who seems to have gone all the way back to our posts from 3 years ago – especially when they are interested in liking selfies, whilst avoiding scenic pictures, or family photos – the first impression is usually that this person is trying to get our attention.

Maybe they are trying to flirt with us, or something. It is usually cute, especially when they continue for a day or two. But then it gets annoying when they never seem to pull the trigger. Worse, if you reach out to them and they do not respond, it’s confusing and rather condescending.

If they won’t speak to you, why stalk you?

2. Family

With everyone’s grandma and grandpa hopping in on social media these days, it makes sense that some cousins, aunties, and uncles may also be in on it, and even following you.

They may really be interested in you, commenting and liking your content, and it may feel nice and welcoming. However, if these are people you usually don’t speak to in real life, it may feel more like you’re under surveillance by them than that they are being nice.

3. Frenemies

You know that they are your rivals, and you do not like them one bit; yet for some weird reason they seem to ALWAYS view your stories, give you the thumbs up, and drop vague comments and emojis that could be interpreted in any number of ways.

  • Are they doing it out of spite?
  • Are they trying to call a truce?
  • Are they trying to push your buttons?

4. Ex’s

This is absolutely the worse on the list.

This person ripped out your heart, yet they have the temerity to view, like, and maybe even comment on your photos like they never hurt you in the past. How dare they! What is their aim? Are they trying to reconcile? Monitor you? Mock you? Or irritate you? Are they truly crazy?


Why is Orbiting Bad And How To Respond

Orbiting to several degrees is far worse than ghosting. Ghosting leaves you wondering, but orbiting keeps you tormented. It messes with your mind and can feel so inexplicable that it borders on offensive. 

Social media has put all our lives in the public so that literally anyone can by accident stumble upon our photos and videos from days, months, or years past.

But it is usually expected that people would respect the dynamics of relationships in real life on social media, but when that is not happening because orbiters neglect it.

Thankfully, there is still one more amazing feature social media platforms come with – and that is blocking, unfollowing, and barring. 

Let’s face it, watching someone you don’t like, “living their best life” is not something anyone really enjoys. That said, orbiting is not healthy for both you and the person stalking your socials.

For the orbiter, it may just lead to more pain, especially when the person orbited has moved on or is doing better than them. Whilst for the orbited, it may feel a bit jarring and creepy to say little about vexation it may also bring.

In summary, orbiting is a limited, passive, and lazy form of interaction online that usually leads to little or no good, when it is not outright causing hurt and damages.    

Photo by Good Free Photos on Unsplash


One comment on “Is Social Media Orbiting Bad? 4 Reasons Why People Orbit & How to Protect Yourself”

  1. New term and excellent explanation. Thank you.

    Funny but this also applies to YouTube as on there almost all of the interaction by viewers is in orbiting type of manner. Maybe that would be a great thing to cover in your next article. How to be small on YouTube and not feel small.

    Wow this is just like what they say your audience will give you inspiration and ideas. This is a great site and daily inspiration; although I must confess I don't read them all.

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