You know that stomach-drop feeling right before you post something on Instagram? Yeah, that’s a real thing

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You know that stomach-drop feeling right before you post something on Instagram? Yeah, that’s a real thing

‘Fuck’

There are very few things in this life capable of really churning stomachs but they include: seeing your man who was never your man walking towards you with another girl, that horrible "ick" feeling where you're suddenly put off by the person you're dating and the split second right before hitting 'share' on a selfie.

Something you were once so sure of now seems like a horrible idea. Your mind begins racing, trying to calculate which of your exes will see it and which will even think it's hot when they do. They won't physically "like" it, so it'll be hard to tell. Will anybody be able to tell you edited your makeup or retouched your legs? And will they call you out when they do? You've caught Insta Fear.

I know I'm not the only one who's gone back and deleted a post when it didn't get a like in the first 60 seconds, and according to Dr. Lisa Orban, clinical psychologist and brand consultant, that's because humans are social animals, driven by the need for validation. We want to be "valued, appreciated and rallied on," she says. "It's about inclusion."

And while most of us would never admit to it, the desire for external gratification is powerful. "Every like, share and positive comment is a boost to confidence," she says, "and this works to fuel the desire for more posts."

The more likes you get, the more you pressured you feel to post. But the more nervous you become to do so. With additional praise comes additional criticism, and with criticism comes the stomach drop. "It becomes a slippery slope," Orban says. "When a person's sense of self-worth becomes contingent on the types of comments or number of likes."

The drop doesn't go away, it only multiplies.

@carolinephinney

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