Why You Should Wait A Few Days Before Deleting Those Unwanted Selfies

You bought a new outfit and spent hours on your hair and makeup for an event; might as well snap a new selfie while you're at it, right? Then, it happens. You bring your phone in closer to inspect the photo you just took and a pit forms in your stomach. While just a few moments ago you were planning to update all your social media profile pics with this one glorious selfie, now you can't hit the delete button fast enough.


You feel disappointed, defeated, and might not even feel like attending the event you were so excited about before you took and reviewed the photo of yourself. Why do these self-induced image checks affect us so profoundly? Why doesn't deleting the photo and moving on with your day seem to help? What if we told you that the most effective way to get over a disappointing selfie is to simply hold onto it? 

Press pause on your expectations

We tend to reach for our phones to snap a selfie in moments of high expectations. Maybe you spent hours on your hair and makeup; perhaps you invested a few hundred dollars on event tickets. When you take a selfie under these circumstances, it goes without saying that you expect the photo to be perfect. Anything less than flawless feels like a tremendous letdown after all the effort you put in.


When you delete a disappointing selfie immediately, you are leaving yourself in that state of despair with no endpoint. Instead, try closing the photo without deleting it and moving on to your next scheduled activity. Tell yourself that you will look at the selfie again in 48 hours before you make any decisions or allow yourself to be emotionally affected. This allows you to move on mentally, knowing that the issue will be addressed in the future and can be let go of for the time being. 

Cash in on hindsight

Once you go back and view the selfie you felt disappointed by, you'll see it in a different light. If the photo was taken at an event, you'll look at it and remember the good time you had and the loved ones who joined you. Whether or not you looked perfect will feel of much less importance than it did when you took the selfie. Attaching a positive memory to the scene gives the photo context and leaves you less likely to anxiously ruminate or immediately search for flaws in your personal appearance.


If you return to the selfie and still find yourself hardcore cringing, it's okay to delete it. Maybe it was taken at an awkward angle or coincided with an unnatural selfie smile. Now that you've taken the emotion out of your judgment by letting some time pass, you can see that outside influences are just as likely to blame for the disappointing shot as your own personal flaws. Commit to implementing affirmations into your self-care routine, hit the delete button, and aim to be a little kinder to yourself next time.