Right, children. I’ve had enough now of this ageing lark. I don’t care for it, not one bit. Why, you ask? It’s because I’m officially out of the loop. Brace yourself for a juicy new phrase that my sister used last week and I literally had less than zero clue what she was on about. Ready?

Thirst Trap.

Did you get that? It sounds like some sort of irrigation ditch, to be honest, but that’s neither here nor there.

Basically, the definition, fresh from the mouth of a petulant 17 year old, is “like, where we low-level catfish our crush (via your instagram feed) into thinking we’re more attractive than we actually are”. Okay, thanks for the translation, sis! Erm, next question…

So what does this really mean then?

That when we’re scouring the house for the best light as golden hour dies, that’s the thirst trap? Or when we’re sucking in our bellies as we brave the bikini pic on the family holiday? Or when we add a jaunty dog filter to our snapchats to smooth out our skin and make us look playfully wide-eyed? Whoops. Maybe not.

Apparently there is an important distinction between making yourself look good ‘for you’ (basically the crux of instagram’s premise), versus the Thirst Trap itself, which specifically functions to attract a particular person’s interest. Here, the goal is that you can send a seductive picture of yourself (where you use all your best angles and witchy magic) with the intention of baiting one’s crush into responding or engaging with the material.

For example, you can post or produce an insta story to your public instagram that everyone can see.

But for the crush to have been ‘caught’ in the trap they must engage with this content regularly and in a timely manner. It’s no good if the crush responds to the instagram story of you in a bikini in the 23rd hour of it’s publication – the key is expressing keenness and availability.

Therefore, friends, I have some sad news.

We’re all probably guilty of this trend, at least all of us who still have an instagram account and haven’t stress-deleted it under the guise if ‘taking a break from all the drama’.

This is true in so far as we are all inherently vain creatures (who thought it would be a good idea to give us a mirror???) that demand attention, validation, and confirmation that we are valid. In our grandma’s day we did this through telegrams and a long, heartfelt letter. In 2019 we’re preening publicly in the hopes that just one person sees it. I’m sure there’s an irony somewhere there. But it works. (so my sister says, which I’ll be having words with her about!)

However, the Thirst Trap is also tied up in expressions of self-love and self-gratification. What’s wrong with feeling good and wanting the world to see?

There’s so much negativity in every aspect of society and media, why shouldn’t we broadcast some beauty and fun? Are we all so cynical that everything anyone does has to be classified as a ‘movement’ or ‘trend’; can’t we just chill and exist for a bit? I reckon we can, so I officially retract my judgement tone at the start of this article and look forward to continuing to primp myself up, feel good, and not have to hide it!

So, in conclusion, my dear readers, we’re probably all Thirst Trapping, but so what?