I am Selfie #13. I was taken via front cam on an iPhone just three hours ago. I don’t want to brag but I’ve already received 102 ‘likes’ on Instagram.
[skateboardjonezz liked you] Make that 103.
The gleaming face I’m displaying belongs to 21-year-old Lilly Rose. She’s a natural beauty — almond shaped green eyes, brown hair worn in a messy bun, full lips and smooth skin.
[2turnttonya has liked you] 104.
Whe– [pizzaloverkels liked you] 105.
When Lilly first snapshotted me, I thought I was destined to remain in her camera roll for an eternity. There were 12 consecutive Selfies taken before me, making me unlucky #13. I arrived in the gallery and all of the other Selfies turned my way, eyeing me up and down.
“Oh crap!” Selfie #12 yelled, almost involuntarily. I remained silent, feeling apprehensive and uncertain what it was appropriate to say or do. Glancing at the other Selfies, I was blown away by how much they resembled me. Selfie #1 displayed Lilly with her head cocked slightly more to the left than she had in me. Selfie #4 was Lilly wearing a cheesy, over-the-top smile, like she was in a Crest toothpaste ad. Selfie #9 showed Lilly with a somewhat stern, borderline intimidating face, like it was her headshot for a Law & Order audition. Selfie #10 seriously could’ve been me. I kid you not, that selfie and I literally looked identical.
A few moments passed, then Selfie #2 looked me directly in Lilly’s eyes and muttered, “Well, looks like you’re the one.”
“What do you mean?” I played dumb.
“There aren’t anymore Selfies being taken. That means she’s obviously satisfied and settling on you.”
I acted surprised, like a boyfriend who’s already seen the new episode of The Walking Dead without his girlfriend, but is now re-watching it with her and pretending to be shocked by whatever’s happening.
“Congratulations,” Selfie #5 halfheartedly mumbled my way. “As for the rest of us, these past two minutes have been a pleasure. It was fun while it lasted.
Before I could say anything, Selfie #1 was swiped away, disappearing into non-existence. Then Selfie #2, Selfie #3, and so on. Selfie #10, the one that strongly resembled me protested, “This is just so not fair!” before being vacuumed into oblivion. Finally, Selfie #11 and Selfie #12 met their demise, respectively. I was left alone… with the other 1,224 images in Lilly’s camera roll.
At first I was nervous, but then Picture Of A Sunset coolly got my attention, “Psst, you made it!”
“I guess I did, huh?” I said glumly, still taking in my surroundings and trying to grasp the cold, mass Selfie murder I’d just witnessed.
“Wow. Don’t get too excited about still existing.” Picture Of A Sunset said, sarcastically.
“I just. I can’t believe all of those pictures are gone. What do you think happens to them?”
Picture Of A Sunset sighed. “Nobody knows for certain. Some pictures think there’s an all-seeing, all-saving flash drive that we go to, where we’re printed and framed, to be admired in a gallery for an eternity. Others think this is it. Once you’re deleted, you see a bright light, like the flash you saw when you were created, then you’re simply… gone.”
I must’ve been visibly shaken, because Picture Of A Sunset followed that up by reassuring me that I had big things ahead, and I’d almost certainly be featured on some social media platform. Then, Picture Of A Sunset introduced me to some of the other folks in the camera roll. Drunk Selfie was a riot. Sylvia Plath Quote On Top Of A Scenic Forrest Background was wise and inspirational. Screenshot Of Some Lame Guy Trying To Make Lilly His Booty Call was so sassy, but sociable. Picture Of Lilly In A Dressing Room Wearing A Blouse She Didn’t Wind Up Buying was so soft-spoken and sweet. There were so many others, and it was truly a joy to meet them. Then, we saw that Instagram opened.
“Duuude, you’re about to make it to Lilly’s Insta-F’N-gram. That’s the BIG leagues!” Picture Of Lilly’s Hot Dog Legs Lounging On The San Diego Beach cried out.
I wish I could’ve given each picture a proper goodbye individually, but it was all happening so fast that all I could tell them was that they were “great photographs, but even better pictures.”
Suddenly I was in a box of some sort, being heavily edited. First I was cropped, which was excruciatingly painful for a split second. Then, I was adjusted in several other ways: brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, highlights. You name it, it was fine-tuned. After all that, I tried on various filters. I was partial to one called X-Pro II, but Lilly settled on Amaro. I felt different, and uncertain this was the right look for me, but before I knew it, I was posted.
1,252 followers, and I was on display to them. Those first few moments were so nerve-racking. One like, two likes, three likes – they immediately began pouring in. Three hours later, here we are. The other Instagram pictures aren’t friendly, or down to earth like the ones in the camera roll were. These pictures are competitive. They didn’t like that I was getting so many likes in such a short timespan.
“Like, why are people freaking out, it’s just your basic, run-of-the-mill snapshot.” Picture Of Starbucks complained, as if it had any room to talk.
“I don’t get it either!” Picture Of Lilly That Time She Met Steve Buscemi chimed in. “I’ve got STEVE friggin’ BUSCEMI in me, and I’ve only gotten 72 likes in the 3 months I’ve been posted. This is preposterous, there are much better photos!”
“Yeah!” Picture Of A Donut, Picture Of A Picture Of Lilly In Third Grade, 16 Second Video Of Coldplay In Concert, Picture Of Lilly’s Running Shoe Covered Feet In The Gym, Picture Of A Stack Of Books Lilly Never Read, Picture Of Lilly’s Adorable Niece, and Picture Of Flowers Lilly’s Ex Bought Her For Valentine’s Day collectively agreed.
On the one hand, I felt bad that so many of my peers disliked me, but the admiration pouring in from Lilly’s human friends alleviated some of the pain. I couldn’t help but daydream about the possibility of reaching the pinnacle, prestigious position of Lilly’s default photo. Maybe I’d get to travel to Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat soon.
“Overrated.” Picture Of Lilly When She Got Bangs murmured, with her 27 measly likes, bursting my cloud of positive thoughts.
Were the others right? Was my aesthetic satisfaction being exaggerated? Maybe I’m not as great as I th—[fuckthahaters22 liked you]. 106.