Hi. My name is Sam. And I am addicted to taking selfies.
I’ve been obsessed with selfies since I first turned my big, bulky digital camera around and snapped a photo of myself in the 10th grade. I couldn’t see the pictures I was taking, but when I uploaded them to my computer, I would pick out the good from the bad, upload the good to Myspace, and take notes for next time.
The selfie addiction grew when I got my first Macbook and was introduced to Photo Booth in 2006. Then a couple years later, Apple released front facing cameras on iPhones and it got even worse. I had always been a sucker for looking into a mirror whenever I passed by one, and when iPhone made that change, my phone became a mirror I could look into 24/7.
I trust my phone’s opinion on what I look like more than an actual mirror (or a friend). And I trust myself taking pictures over anyone else. That’s mostly because I know how to angle the camera (I mean phone) — AKA down, not up, to ensure maximum thinness.
I also know that to take the *perfect selfie,* you need to find *perfect lighting.* You also need to get into the *perfect position.* There have been times where I’ve started taking pictures of myself in one position and 30 minutes later, found myself lying down with a leg up in a weird, uncomfortable position because I found I looked best like that.
But I don’t just go on selfie taking sprees when I’m alone. I do this while hanging out with friends casually on someone’s couch or out at a bar.
Do my friends think this is annoying? Yes. It’s gotten to the point where whenever I am on my phone, they just assume I am taking selfies. This is because 85% of the time I am.
The reason they think I do this is because I am a narcissist. And sure, I like looking at myself. But it’s not because I’m a narcissist.
The real reason I take so many selfies is because I am so completely self-conscious about the way I look.
A good selfie, even if I don’t show it to anyone, is validation to me that I look okay. That’s why I am constantly taking pictures of myself with Snapchat and then clicking the X to delete them because I am rarely ever satisfied with the way I look.
When I do find myself satisfied with a selfie, which is rare, I will maybe share it to Snapchat. I will maybe post it on Instagram. However, I will definitely save it to my phone, for me to look at in the future when I’m feeling down about myself as a reminder that I really do look okay.
The awful thing about this is that I know 99.9% of my selfies look the same. The differences between the pictures I choose to like and the pictures I choose to hate are so minimal that only I can see them. If I see a wrinkle in my forehead, I hate it. If I see a double chin starting to appear on my face, I delete it. If my cheeks look too chubby, I cringe. If my eyes look too tired, I feel like I’m aging too quickly. If my arms are in the picture and don’t look toned, I immediately feel the need to pick up some free weights and start lifting.
This is why I keep taking pictures of myself — to convince myself that I look okay.
It’s sad, but we are in the age of instant validation. If you want it, you can have it. And if you search for it and you don’t receive it, it is so easy to become depressed over that.
I would love to go back to the days where I was taking selfies JUST for fun. The days where I wasn’t self-conscious about the way I looked and cared so much about what other people thought of me. Let’s go back to that guys.
But first, let me take a selfie… with pizza. Just kidding this is from months ago, but it hasn’t gotten old yet.