What Does Drug Addiction Feel LIke?
What It Feels Like… To Be Addicted To Likes
As part of this week's campaign to #BREAKFREE from other's approval, Anya Meyerowitz explains how she's taking a new approach to social media...
‘That looks like it will get a lot of likes,’ I think to myself as the sun begins to set over my neighbourhood park and I bend my head and dig around in my bag for my phone. I am in a hurry: I don’t want to miss this moment because then my followers will never know that I got to experience it (#blessed).
I manage to capture the moment, and sit down on the grass where I spend the next five minutes engrossed in filters: adjusting the contrast, then the brightness, then the contrast again. ‘The sunset looks even better on my screen than it did in the sky’ I breathe to myself – that familiar buzz coursing through me – it’s ready to share.
Without looking up again I walk back to my house – phone in hand – waiting. I am waiting for them to come. My admirers, my friends, my Instagram followers. I am waiting for them to envy me, to congratulate me, to give me a virtual round of applause.
I get two likes. Two measly likes. One from a friend and the other from an account called ‘Vivien.love.Jeff’, who turns out to be pushing their fat burning product. My body wants more – it craves that rush as the notification pops up; it yearns for that warm feeling you get when you see Instagram has stopped listing The Likers and clustered them all together: 11 Likes, 12 Likes. Sometimes 13.
I head to bed feeling dejected. Why does no one like my life? Do I even want a life that is so unworthy of liking?
Then it dawns on me: I didn’t add hashtags – I wasn’t visible enough.
Lit up by the glare of my screen, I lie under the duvet, hurriedly adding as many as I can fit. #sunsets #beauty #love…
The next morning, I’ve gained three more. Three.
I delete the image – five likes is just embarrassing. Sunsets aren’t that cool anyway, I tell myself, you know what people really love? People love Eggs Benedict. I’ll have that for breakfast.
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