If you respond, they might say something back and they might not. You might get a picture with a caption that feels generic/out of context, and this is because they’re sending it to a bunch of people.
If you’re Facebook or Insta friends with them, they might wordlessly “like” a particularly nice selfie or adventure photo, just pressing a button and changing the color of a thumb or a heart somewhere in the virtual universe, to remind you that they still exist and on some distant star, they might still like you. You get just enough interaction to remember that they’re out there, sometimes thinking about you.
I had a really great first date with a curly-haired breadcrumber who kept in sporadic touch with me, which made me sad because I really had fun on our date and wanted to see him again. I ran into him six months later and he asked me out again, and when I told him no, he was really surprised.
Me: “I have a two-three week test period on first dates. Your window of opportunity to ask me out again has long since expired.” (This is fancier than how I really said it, I think the f-word was in my original response.)
Him: “Oh! I wish I’d known that was a requirement.” (That’s what he really said)
Me: “I think it’s pretty normal. If I see you every six months, that’s less often than my parole officer or my hairdresser. That’s not dating. I don’t know what it is.”