You take a good picture, crop it to perfection and choose the ideal filter. Then you hit "share."
After that, it's natural to get wrapped up in watching your "like" number grow -- and it can be a real blow to the ego if it doesn't climb as high as you want it to.
But as it turns out (and you probably already know this, deep down), there are lots of things that matter more than the number of times people "like" your photo. Here are some of them, in no particular order...
1. The people you're actually with at that moment.
2. Netflix, in the event that you're not with anyone in that moment.
3. Getting registered to vote.
4. Knowing your friends' phone numbers by heart, in case of emergency.
5. Your phone actually being charged (checking Instagram drains your battery).
6. What you're having for dinner.
7. Contributing to your community.
8. Educating yourself about the world around you.
9. Staying in shape.
10. Climate change.
11. Asking people how their day is going.
12. Whatever else you had planned for the day that got swept aside because you can't stop checking your notifications (ahem: work, homework, etc.).
13. Intersectional feminism.
14. Believing that your friends love you, even if they don't manage to "like" that photo.
15. What you're having for dessert.
16. How you treat people.
17. Engaging with causes that you care about.
18. Your pets.
19. Pet videos, in the event that you don't have a pet of your own.
20. Your loved ones (maybe give them a call instead of waiting to see if they "like" your picture).
21. The concert you're missing because you're too busy taking pictures of it.
22. The conversation you're missing because you're too busy concentrating on your filter choice.
23. Believing that you look great and not needing your followers to validate it.
24. The cool scenic view you're only looking at through your phone screen.
25. You, and everything else you have to offer beyond your photo-cropping and filter-choosing skills.
This list could go on forever, but you get the point.
Not getting as many "likes" as you want doesn't actually say anything negative about your personal worth or likability. And, on the flip side, it doesn't necessarily mean you're a great person if that "like" number soars.
Next time you find yourself fretting about the number of "likes" you're getting, consider redirecting your energy to one of these previously mentioned things instead.
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