I met Stacey at a conference for the industry we are both gainfully employed in.
Manning the booth for my tech start up I saw Stacey coming from across the room with with a magenta pencil skirt, three-quarter length blazer and some black pumps that were clearly doing her already lengthy, toned legs some serious favors.
Her blonde hair was in loose waves falling just passed her shoulders she extended a hand to meet mine. With her big white smile on display she dauntlessly introduced herself.
Slightly enamored by the attractive specimen that stood before me I can’t quite recall what Stacey had to say about the the services her company provided, but it did turn out that we coincidentally reside in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn.
We exchanged business cards, and shortly after I asked if she would be interested in joining me for a non-work related dinner…A date.
To my relief, she was game.
I made reservations at a posh Asian-fusion restaurant in Manhattan that has never failed to impress.
Stacey showed up and was looking quite ravishing in her crop top and high-waisted skinny jeans.
I pulled out her chair and we both began studying the menu.
“Is there anything you don’t like to eat sushi wise?” I asked.
I looked up to await her response to find her pouty lips pressed together, her head tilted back with her arm extended, cell phone in hand.
She was taking a duck face selfie.
Stacey spent the next 45 seconds snapping pictures of herself at different angles, carefully analyzing them, then repeating the process.
When she finally had mastered the perfect selfie, she set her phone aside to discuss what we would be dining on.
During our discussion about the menu she repetitively glanced at her cell phone placed on the table in close proximity to her right hand.
The first round of small plates came, and right as my chopsticks were about to grab a piece of rock shrimp tempura Stacey ordered me to a halt.
“I need to take a picture first! It all just looks so pretty!”
After snapping five or six pictures I figured it was safe to enjoy my meal.
“Wait! Now I need to make a snap for SnapChat!”
Again, after a minute or two I was finally permitted to eat.
We ordered a few martinis from the specialty cocktail list and of course, Stacey had to capture a selfie, complete with her frosty pink glassware daintily garnished with a slice of watermelon and basil. She then selected her filter and hashtag of choice so it was finally ready to be posted on her beloved Instagram page.
After checking her phone for the tenth time to obsess over the number of likes received, I was struggling to bite my tongue.
“So, do you have to check your Instagram every minute or are you waiting for an important call? I am just noticing that you keep looking at your phone so I didn’t know if you had somewhere else to be,” I said.
“Sorry, I just love Insta! I will try to ignore it until we are done with dinner.”
“Is it really that hard? Why don’t you just take it off the table and put it in your purse? That would probably be less tempting,” I suggested.
“Ahh I just like it right here. I don’t like to be too far from my phone because then I just feel so disconnected. Also, it’s not like I am just obsessed with Instagram, it’s more about building a brand and getting a following.”
“What brand is that? Are you starting a company?” I inquired.
“No it’s just about personal brand. Everyone should just think of themselves as a brand and I feel like social media is the way to get yourself out there.”
Without consulting Stacey I told the waiter we would skip dessert. I paid the check and cut my losses.