The seeming spontaneity reflects the idea of spontaneity one would expect in a stereotypical selfie. The 365 portraits, each one showing Nakadate crying, give the aforementioned illusion of reality and the viewer is left wondering why Nakadate is crying and what makes her life worthy of this daily public expression of sadness. She is portraying, then, a persona of isolation and desolation. These 365 crying portraits are seemingly the most important thing that happened to her during that year, or at least what she chose to photograph. Had Nakadate posted these images as selfies on Instagram, one per day, the viewer would be left with a feeling of empathy (or happiness, depending on his relationship with Nakadate, but they are evocative regardless).
Like Nakadate was likely forced to act out the emotions – her tears were sometimes encouraged for the sake of the series – sometimes the selfies posted online are only acts; we act out the narrative we want to create, whether it is one of power, happiness, sadness, humor or another event. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Nakadate even points to the false-positive images on Facebook as an inspiration for her series: I was online looking at all these pictures of all these people pretending to be happy. I thought - what would it mean to deliberately take part in sadness each day, and photograph that? (Pearson)
Nakadate told Pearson that she took up to 80 photos of crying every day, but only chose one to use for the series. While each image is only meant to be a single glimpse in a day, it is carefully selected from dozens as the best way to convey the idea she wants to create. Nakadate’s selection from many images is mimicked by online users who take multiple snapshots then choose the best one to edit and post online as a “selfie,” putting thought and effort into a single image under the guise of a snapshot.