Last night I was laying in bed and checked my phone “one last time” (you know how it is) and damn, Instagram notifies me that I’ve got, like 100 new followers, with a new one popping up every two seconds.  Wow, I thought. They like me, they really like me!

But I can’t be content with the fact that I’ve got them, these likes and follows, these ultimately meaningless indicators of validation. I have to know why they are there, you know? So, I dig a little. In searching further back through the notifications, I see that I have been tagged in a post by a somewhat popular gothic home decor account. It’s an account that I got a little salty (albeit passive aggressively) with a few Friday nights ago, when I’d had a second, then a third glass of wine and saw all the uncredited imagery they post. And as soon as I looked at the post they had tagged me in last night, (an image similar to the above, but minus the user information in the top left) I knew what had happened.

There are several iterations of the username “ghoulnextdoor” on Instagram, and heck, all over the internet. I originally opened my ghoulnextdoor tumblr account in 2009 and thought I was the cleverest person in the world for coming up with it…so clever, in fact, that I was going to lock down the url Only to find out that it was already taken by the OG Ghoul Next Door–Kyra Schon! Kyra is the cellar dwelling, trowel wielding, mother stabbing, father’s arm eating little zombie girl Karen Cooper in the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead, if you recall. Anyway, my point is–apparently I’m not all that clever.

Back to Instagram. As I mentioned, as soon as I saw the bedroom photo I was tagged in, the mystery of the influx of followers solved itself. It was a popular account, people saw the photo, saw that it linked to me, and as a result, started following me. The only thing is, the photo was not mine! I knew right away that it must belong to another version of “ghoulnextdoor” and either the popular gothic home decor account didn’t remember where they saw it or mistyped the name, or whatever. Because I am nuts and this could not wait until morning, a reverse image search was in order, so I fumbled on my nightstand for my glasses, stumbled out of bed, and shuffled over to the computer.

After about ten minutes of squinting at uncredited imagery on pinterest and tumblr, I finally found an image that linked back to the instagram account! The only problem was, it linked back to the main page of the account–not the specific image above. That’s not enough for me. Just because someone links to something, are you going to believe that? That’s what got me all of these new followers in the first place–an incorrect link! I scrolled through the users account for a minute or two, et voilà, here is the original image!

So this photo that got me all of this attention actually belongs to ghoulnxtdoor, who, might I add, though I do not know her personally, looks as stylish and ghoulish and awesome as you might expect.

I guess the moral of the story is that just because someone on the internet gives you a piece of information, that doesn’t make it true. And…that no one actually likes me.
Oh well, at least I know the truth!

P.S. My bedroom looks nothing like this.
P.P.S. Aside from uncredited imagery, my biggest pet peeve is when someone pronounces voilà “wah-lah!”
P.P.P.S. I’m not naming name regarding this popular gothic home decor account on instagram, because I really don’t want to give them any more followers, but here’s an amusing anecdote. I was scrolling through their posts and found one that was uncredited. In searching out the creator of the item they featured, I was lead to a blog posting…about how to do a reverse image search to properly source and credit images. HA.

Jantine says

I like you! ;)

There's so much uncredited images on Instagram! Those 'repost'-account that mention 'Images not mine' and never credit the actual photographers really bother me, these photographers put a lot of work in their photos.

S. Elizabeth says

And you know what really gets me? There are some accounts I look at, (mostly food videos I watch to help me fall asleep, hee hee) where the caption is something like: "This looks delish! Credit unknown!" But if you actually watch the video clips, they are often watermarked or branded! UGGGGGHHHH.

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