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What is Gatsbying

The names of many literary characters have become a household name. Otello, for instance, is the symbol of jealousy. The process goes on, and new words and concepts come to life. Screenlife figured out what Gatsbying is and who uses it.

The concept originated in 2017, but has been becoming commonly known recently. On November 1, 2017, Australian beauty and fashion magazine TOMBOY Beauty published an article by model Matilda Dods. To describe the concept, Matilda suggests you imagine the following situation: you are at a party, you look great; you have a glass of wine in your hand, and you are lighthearted. At this point, you take out your phone, record a video or take a photo, and post it on social media. The next 20 minutes pass by in some excitement. And here you take the phone again to check if someone liked your photo or left a comment. Usually it’s about those you’d dated or would like to date. This is Gatsbying.

The name comes from the name of Jay Gatsby, the protagonist of Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. Gatsby has parties solely to get the attention of Daisy, who lives across the bay. Fortunately, today it’s easier to achieve your goal and you don’t even need to be a billionaire.

However, the concept could have been called otherwise had Matilda chosen the “How I Met Your Mother” TV show. Ted, the show’s protagonist, also organized parties to have a second meeting with Robin.


A shot from “How I Met Your Mother”

This is how people all over the world attract attention. John from California tried to catch attention of a girl he liked and posted his dogs’ photo on Instagram. The guy knew the girl loved animals, and his plan actually worked: she left a comment, and a dialogue began. Thee had a date, but it never came to a serious relationship. Besides the love for dogs, there was nothing in common between John and that girl.

However, returning to Matilda’s text, we can say that there are more positive results:

Recently I was in a bar with my friend. She liked a guy who hadn’t texted her for a long time. In this very bar, they were together several times, and a friend decided to go for a trick: she took a photo with a cocktail, noted the corresponding geo-position and posted the photo on Instagram. And you know what happened? She moved in with him.


Screenlifer spoke with Anna, who has known about Gatsbying for almost 10 years. She told why she did it and how she called the phenomenon, until Matilda came up with a memorable name for it.

I had this from 18 to 24 years. But it didn’t limit to posting photos. For example, I had a fight with a loved one and posted a song on my Vkontakte (Russian social media) page. It is better to post songs in English so that the effect is stronger: a person will spend time to find the translation and understand everything. By the way, this was one of the ways we communicated at one time: I would post a song, then my ex would post in response, then I would reply. Generally, Gatsbying is the same thing as putting on a beautiful dress to the office in order to seduce someone. And you can post something that would help to seduce a person. This is essentially native advertising: it seems like just interesting content, but in fact you advertise yourself. Strictly speaking, Gatsbying is a simple manipulation. Now, there is a fancy word to name it.

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