AN EXCERPTG LIKE
All for a photo of the sunrise I posted on Snappypic. On my screen, the sun glows like a pale egg as it rises over the mountains.
Actually, I don’t love my outdoorsy shots. They’re a little boring, but it’s the kind of thing my followers think is cool. So I’m okay with the setting sun if it gets me lots of likes. Right now I’m hiding in the bathroom stall at my temple. And the place is packed because it’s Milton P. Daniels’s bar mitzvah. The bathroom is the only spot where I can have some privacy. Over in the pews, there are probably three hundred people.
Fifteen seconds, 15 likes! A smile tugs all the way to my ears. I want to dance.
I glance back at the phone. It’s been two minutes, and I’m up to 45 likes. Yes! This calls for a celebration with Floyd. (That’s my phone’s name.)
I peer back down at my phone. But . . . wait. I’m holding steady at fortyfive. Where are all my likes? I refresh the page. And . . . Nothing. I shake my phone as if that might help. Still nothing. This doesn’t make sense. I used the filter that everyone else on Snappypic is really into. It makes everything seem dreamy. But with only 45 likes, the sun is losing its brilliance and looks lonely and unloved. Maybe I need to turn it off and on? I turn off my phone and restart it. I text Ella Fuentes: Did you see my photo? I add a smiling emoji. No response. I know Ella’s up. It’s late morning. She’s my best friend. Maybe she’s reading or drawing, but she’s definitely up.
If she wasn’t doing something else, I’m sure she’d like my photo. I try a couple other girls I know. Nothing. It’s late Saturday morning and all my followers have to be up by now.
As of 11:07 a.m. today, I have 12,032 followers on Snappypic. My followers are pretty much all the kids at Merton Middle School and a bunch of other middle schools around Portland. But I have two middle schools in Mission Viejo. That’s all the way down in Southern California. I didn’t know where it was until I checked it out in Google Maps. Usually between four hundred and nine hundred followers give me a thumbs-up on anything I post. So yeah, I get more likes than anyone I know at school.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself that this is happening to me. Last year in sixth grade, I didn’t even have an account. People pretty much ignored me. Back then, I was too awkward. Too tall. Too loud. And generally uncool.
Taking a deep breath, I swipe through Snappypic and start liking everything my followers have posted. This is a way to get likes coming back.
I stare at my phone, waiting. One second, 3 LIKES. Five seconds, 9 LIKES. Ten seconds, 12 LIKES.