It seems as though all everyone on instagram Is talking about is the God damn algorithm. Yes, I completely agree that it’s slightly frustrating when content you’ve put your heart and soul into creating don’t get seen by the audience you’d expected, or don’t get as high engagement as you’d hoped for. However, I’m not at the point where I honestly couldn’t care any less about it all and you know what? My Instagram has doubled over the last year. – Shocking, I know.
I’ve been blogging and on Instagram for about 7 years, which is admittedly, quite a long amount of time to be heavily active on social media. However, for the first 3 years or so, I just didn’t care how many followers I had, I’d just post because I wanted to post, and in all honesty, once I’d get over 11 likes, I was happy. Nowadays, social media is a hell of a lot more competitive. The fun has been completely stripped form the app and it’s now about engagement and attempting to ‘beat’ the algorithm, rather than sharing images and being creative.
The majority of people reading this who haven’t been completely engrossed by social media will probably have no idea what I’m talking about – Lucky you! But long story short, the instagram algorithm is basically a formula that is different for every instagram user. It’s created by instagram app developers to keep people on the app for as long as possible, by showing you content that the app thinks you may be interested in and looks engaging, thus making you want to scroll further. However, with this, a lot of influencers and bloggers have experienced a de-crease in the likes, comments and overall engagement on their instagram posts, through no fault to their own. Instagram is basically favouriting ‘actual people’ rather than businesses and creatives.
Personally, I do think the algorithm is stupid, but in someways, it does make sense. I guess I do want to see what my friends are up to, rather than complete strangers. But with that said, I also use social media to feel inspired and to discover new fashion trends and bloggers similar to me. The majority of the time, the profiles who inspire me and who I love seeing, I have to search for manually as their posts won’t show up on my feed.
Likes = acceptance.
In the world of social media, likes, followers and engagement result in acceptance. This is definitely something that I’ve been a victim of in the past. I’ve uploaded photos on my feed, not got the likes and engagement that I had expected and instantly started to pick myself and my talents apart and evaluate how I need to change my content to keep up with the allusive algorithm.
Who remembers when Instagram Aesthetics where a serious MUST. If your feed wasn’t pastel, white and marble, you where basically irrelevant. Now, in all honesty, I can’t think of anything worse than a feed that lacks serious personality. I definitely used to follow people because their feed looked nice, not because I was interested in their ethics or opinions. But now, times have seriously changed and I love following people who share the same interests, opinions and hobbies as me. These people make me feel inspired, I can engage with their content on a deeper level that a heart eye emoji.
Who remembers that Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’? Not too long ago, it went pretty viral on twitter because of its relatable message. Without giving too much away – as I full recommend you go and watch the episode for yourself – the episode follows a young office worker and her attempted journey to the top of the social hierarchy. We see her faking a smile and pretty much every social interaction in order for people to like her. The episode tackles societies obsession with social media and how we almost pin our entire lives worth on our likes and follower count, however, in reality, it means absolutely nothing.
You’re probably reading this thinking ‘But you’re a blogger’ and yes, I am. My entire career is based on the internet. Even my full time job invoices influencers and social media analytics. My whole word is social media. It’s what I earn a living from to pay my rent and to put food in my stomach, but my relationship with it has completely changed over the past couple of months and I couldn’t be happier.
So, What’s Changed?
Honestly, the biggest thing that’s changed is how I use social media. I’m at the point now where I’ll post my photo and aimlessly put my phone down and get on with my day. I still care about my content and want it to be creative, however, I’m a lot more focused on what I’m doing, rather than focusing what’s in and what’s ‘hip-happening’. Want to know the craziest part though? Since caring less and posting what I want, when I want, my instagram following has been growing so rapidly, I went through a phase on convincing myself that someone had bought followers and put my account in when they did so. Luckily, that wasn’t the case and my followers are actual people (yay!)
I feel as though every single millennial who’s had life without social media and life with it, goes through serious ups and downs with the whole concept of it. One second I want to run outside and jump in puddles and act like an idiot (which I often do) but sometimes, I want to hide behind the positive person I’ve created myself to be on social media. That person no longer exists. I’ve broken down the barriers of myself and began to share everything from the good and the bad.
I personally contact with people who share both positive and negative life experiences on social media. It allows me to feel human again and as though I’m not the only person feeling a certain way. Social media is allowing me to connect with people who are going through the same situations as me and feeling the same things I am.
The connection and creativity that social media allows everyone, makes me not care about the bloody algorithm one bit. I’d much rather one person like a photo and tell me they like it or engage with the caption, rather than 1,000 liking a photo and not thinking twice about it.