THE BLOG

Selfie- steem

06/02/2014 12:37 GMT | Updated 07/04/2014 10:59 BST

Raise device at 174 degree angle, eyes at sea level, (unless you have false lashes on, then aim for sky level), lips must pout, but not too much trout, curl tongue inside mouth for optimum cheek contouring, stand 2m from warm light and avoid shadow casting, and "CLICK". Delete and repeat process until satisfied - generally attempt number 22. If this fails, ask friend to take with front camera and a bleachy, blinding flash to cover all sins. Post on Facebook, Twitter and instagram and await calculations of likes and comments. Add up the total, announce to the room aaaannndd proceed with night out.

Recent research conducted by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, found that increased sharing of selfies leads to decreased feelings of connection and closeness, so as we post away trying to engage with our peers are we actually isolating both the viewer and ourselves? Sometimes I look at posed images of myself and think "Thats not even me?", but I'd rather use them as the prized profile picture than the in-action double chinned, genuinely happy grinning 'memory capturing' moment around the Christmas turkey. God forbid, there should be other people in the picture, and LOOK at the heinously low angle, golly golly gosh. Self portraiture has been around for centuries, but when did it become so calculated? Why do we want to archive structured, and very similar poses of ourselves, instead of individualism and an actual representation of our lives? Look grandchildren, heres me when I was 21, 24, 27 and on my wedding day and yes, I was just frozen in the same position for 9 years with someone changing my lipstick fortnightly.

Lets dig down past the 7 filters you've placed over the image, the layer of foundation, through the photoshopped flesh and ask ourselves what we're seeking with these posts? Validation? "Someone likes my face, the same face I'm always going to have and have had forever, hurrah, onwards with my day!" Affirmation? "I have posted my new eyeshadow, it now therefore exists and is valid in the world." Attention? Ah attention, the most bleak reason of all, the security that in this gigantic world full of shiny, sparkling engaging things, someone wants to pay attention to lil ole me. I won't show them the real me, oh no, the horror, I shall show them a constructed, well formulated VERSION of me, that took 47 minutes to create, that'll make them want me. If that doesn't work, I shall pull the camera back two inches in order to flash cleavage. Still no likes? Midriff out with abs drawn on with bronzer. Gah, only 5 likes, time for the big guns, or for girls - BUNS, dash for mirror, turn around, tilt bum, sinch waist and FLASH. Wait....Wait....21 likes, phew. Confidence restored, but is soon emptied with a quick scroll through Instagram feed in the cab on the way to the club, and so the process, frantically begins again, best wait until I get to the club, the dim lighting will make the 'Nashville filter' superbly flattering.

Once you have mastered the 'self selfie' you are now ready for the couple selfie, beginners start with one partner kissing the others cheek, then perhaps progress on to 'simultaneous surprise', or if your feeling co-ordinated enough, the big whopper, the FULL LENGTH. N.B: This one takes a while to have both parties happy, do not embark on this if you are on your way to the airport or a wedding. The esteem issues here are 10 fold as there are other areas to consider, not only 'do I look better than them?' but also 'does our body language suggest we are happy', 'does this kiss look too forced?' and 'will people think there is massive gaping holes in our relationship, that only 'you're such a cute couple #love' will sew up?

It's tried and tested: boobs beat books, bums beat chums and kegs (pants) beat legs. So what is all the objectification doing to our confidence? Subsequently why do we bother? When we turn the lens constantly on ourselves, its only natural to scrutinise it. If we are to view the world from behind a phone, lets open up our panoramic view and snap away at our beautiful lives afore us.