Kids adding random strangers on Instagram


So my sister is in middle school and most of her classmates have social media. Its common for girls to follow her and then when she follows them back, they unfollow her immediately, so my sister unfollows the them, and then the girl will request to follow her again. It’s an attempt to look more popular by having more followers than followings and it’s endless cycle.

I feel like it is getting weird because now these little girls, most of whom I’ve never met, are following (or trying to follow) me and my friends. I go to college out of state and none of my friends are from within 200 miles of my hometown. These girls are going through my sister’s followers and just adding everyone that’s not already following them in the hopes that the person will add them back to look more popular. My sister has called girls out on it before (“why are you following Sally? She goes to college with my sister. You don’t know her”) and always get very defensive, nasty responses and lies about how “yes I know sally! She’s a close personal friend!”

Also, I follow back my sister’s friends that I know, and my friends that have met my sister follow her back, but now we’ve got these loads of other middle school girls following us in the hopes that we’ll follow back so they can unfollow us and look more popular.

I’d just like to hear other people’s opinions on this because I just think it’s bizarre. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this a normal thing that kids are doing nowadays?

Edit: I forgot to mention, my SO used to add everyone back, assuming he knew them without looking at the profiles, and it’s gotten to the point now where so many random kids have tried to follow him that he texts me like “hey is this your sister’s friend?” after each new follow request. It makes both of us very uncomfortable because he is 23 and all these little 12/13yo girls keep trying to add him