“Post,” “publish,” “upload,” “share,” these are just the tickets to riding the emotional roller coaster that is selfie-posting.
Without casting judgement on selfie-ers, I’ve always wondered how we began to play into this masochistic, millennial form of external validation. My Instagram feed is filled with all kinds of selfies throughout the day: the “candid” ones, cheesy couple ones, predictable post-break up ‘I’m-doing-fine-without-you’ pics, gym shots etc.
Now, I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with feelin’ yourself and wanting the world to see it. I mean, if a man photographs a woman and publishes it, it shouldn’t earn the title of ‘art’ while a selfie qualifies the woman as a vain whore.
I’ve never been one to post selfies and it’s not because I’m a Shrek-looking girl, and no, unfortunately I’m no Hailey Baldwin either. It’s just that the thought of posting a selfie gives me nothing but anxiety. I recently posted one of my first selfies and the emotions were real.
But when we’re dropping that lit selfie for all our followers to see, there are some definite phases we go through:
Phase 1: Trying To Get The Right Lighting
Whether it’s the natural lighting that falls effortlessly through your bedroom window or the soft lighting you installed thanks to a YouTube DIY video – lighting. is. fucking. KEY. It has the ability to make you look like you’ve had your makeup done by the Kardashian’s makeup artist, or like you’re telling a terrifying camp story.
Phase 2: Asking The Group Chat If It’s #Lit Or Not
The tribe has spoken. They’ve chosen #28 out of the 47 selfies you took. You’ll now stare at the chosen one until you no longer recognize the person you’re about to mask with a filter.
Phase 3: Editing, Filtering & Trying To Achieve Adele’s Level of Contouring
Adele is flawless, of course. But Adele on the 25 album cover – can you say #contourgoals? That shit spoke to me. You will edit that pic, soften any harshness and hope to God you can accentuate your contouring to match that of Queen Adele.
Phase 4: Should I Start Over?
WTF, how did I filter myself into an orange? Why is it grainy? Shit, there’s a dirty sock of mine laying on the floor in the back of my selfie, think anyone will notice? Why didn’t I take it with squared dimensions? Fuck it I’m not retaking it, the show must go on.
Phase 5: Get That Caption Game on Fleek
I don’t want to be basic and put some of The Weeknd’s lyrics in the caption. I also can’t leave it blank. What can I say that’s both funny and cute? Maybe now’s a good time to make some witty banter about the dirty sock in the background!
Phase 6: The Time Has Come – Post Away Grasshopper!
Knees weak palms are sweaty, there’s vomit on – well I’m not at the vomit level of nervousness, but I am getting heart palpitations from having to post this. Statistics state that the prime times to post on Instagram are between 3-4pm and 8-9pm. Going to drop it during the later time slot. Luckily, I watched DJ Khaled’s Snapchat story today so I’m feeling extra inspired and confident to post.
Phase 7: Oops, Having An Anxiety Attack
NBD, I’m chillin’, feeling good about this. Hm, did Instagram crash? It’s been 37 seconds and not one ‘like’! Not even my aunt Jenny who literally lives on Instagram? Okay false alarm, Aunt J pulled through, phew. Ugh, J’s ‘like’ has now sat there for a full minute. Okay, I’m desperate. I’m going to text my sister and ask her to go ‘like’ it.
Phase 8: Watching The Likes Roll In
Okay breathing has resumed to normal. The BFFs are making their rounds. I’m at my peak ‘like’ speed, I’m basically high on the best drugs – KEEP’EM COMING!
Phase 9: Um, Watching The Lack-Of Likes Roll In?
Seriously, Instagram must have crashed, or maybe the whole internet did, IDK?! There is literally a tumbleweed blowing across my post, a follower apocalypse has occurred, the ‘likes’ have slowed…or…oh shit…I think they’ve stopped.
Phase 10: Step Away From The Phone!
A watched kettle never makes tea? Hot water doesn’t boil? What’s that expression that’s supposed to be reassuring and detach me from my phone? Whatever, I just won’t look at my phone for the next four hours…two..ten minutes.
Phase 11: The Grand Entrance Of Your Crush
After taking that three minute break from my phone I come back to find out my crush has double tapped on my face. Could it be, he was so aroused his penis became erect and hit the ‘like’ button? A gal can dream!
Phase 12: Your 2nd Grade Geometry Teacher Was Right, Math Is Everywhere!
Everyone’s got the comment : like ratio which of course is relevant to every unique user’s profile. Sixty likes for me means I should have five comments. One hundred and twenty likes for me means I should have eleven great comments and one about the dirty sock. This math only makes sense in my head so leave me alone Mr. Chafe from grade ten math – I don’t need to “show my work” on paper anymore.
Phase 13: Honestly, It’s Just Instagram
Who cares? Instagram isn’t going to pay my bills, unless I can be an ‘influencer’ or get hot enough to promote detox teas on my page. I’m not going to ask for approval. Fuck the likes, comments, shares. I love myself!
Phase 14: Hold Up – The Ex Just Liked My Pic
Okay I take it back, just for a second. My ex of two years just thought I was hot again. I cried over you during Adele’s 21 album. Hopefully his penis also double tapped my face. Erg, a little awkward…that’s what she said?
Phase 15: Really, It’s Just Instagram – Who Gives A Fuck?!
Alright, the dust has settled. It’s been four hours. The influx of likes has come to a grand halt and I’m over it. I now know why I don’t post my face for others to judge. I’m fine with myself, inside and out. In fact I value my guts and soul more than my outer. It’s my fault really, as I placed importance over others’ response to a ‘selfie’. It is just Instagram, just Facebook, just Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and whatever the fuck else we flood with ourselves. We will live beyond these platforms, we are more than these platforms.