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A thirst trap is a person who either desires or attracts positive attention from people online. The term can also apply to the practice of posting online for attention or the posts made to attract attention.
The term thirsty has long meant a desire for something. Humans are often thirsty for knowledge, for example. The term "thirst trap" expands on this association, as thirst traps were originally people “thirsty for attention.” However, over time the term has expanded its definition. Today, thirst traps are also people who simply attract positive attention for their looks online, whether they want it or not, as well as the act of posting online for attention, or the posts made that attract attention.
Thirst traps may use or appear on social media, including Facebook or Snapchat, or dating apps including Tinder and Grinder.
Thirst traps looking for attention think carefully about the images they post online and try to make them as attractive and worthy of comments as they can. They love taking photos at the beach or the gym, where they can be seen with very little clothing. They might blow kisses or pose in a sexually provocative manner. They also regularly take and post selfies. Thirst traps might remove blemishes from their images and apply filters to make themselves seem more attractive. They might also accompany their images with flirty captions or leave suggestive comments to their followers.
The positive attraction thirst traps receive often goes beyond likes and nice comments. It’s common for people following thirst traps closely to develop feelings for them. However, most thirst traps are happy keeping communications strictly online. Only in rare circumstances would they engage in a real offline relationship with one of their admirers.
Even people who wouldn’t consider themselves thirst traps might occasionally make posts that could be categorized as thirst traps now and again. They might do this when they’re feeling lonely or bored. They might want attention from the online community at large or a specific person. They might also want to appear attractive and receive positive comments so someone, like an ex, notices them.
While some people willingly compliment thirst traps looking for attention, others are critical of them and their reliance on the digital world for affirmation. They also don’t approve of staging images simply for likes or comments.
It can be difficult to determine whether someone is a thirst trap looking for attention or a thirst trap who simply receives positive attention. For example, models and fitness personalities are in the business of presenting positive images of themselves. It’s difficult to know whether their social media accounts are about gaining attention or promoting their brands and making money.