Instagram Algorithm and Personal Consequences / by Didier Young

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Anytime you are at an event, you can usually tell what specific genre of blogging everyone is into based on their conversations. Fitness bloggers often talk about their gym routines or pushing their limits. Beauty bloggers are the first to notice that you’ve bleached your hair a shade lighter. Food bloggers usually crowd nearest to where the canapés are coming out to make sure they get some of the food to use as props in a photo. Those small details are often the best way to know what terrain you are entering while on the blogger battlefield. However the lines have blurred slightly lately as it seems that every blogger, no matter the genre they represent, seems to be preoccupied with the same topic: Instagram.

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I know what you are thinking. Great, this is yet another blog post that will complain about the newest issues of the social platform. In the past couple of months, we have all experienced a drop in engagement, a halt in follower growth and a weird case of shadow banning. Instagram bloggers are starting to feel nervous about a platform that is becoming increasingly difficult to manoeuvre, where you keep getting reminded every single day that perhaps you could solve the issues you are encountering by giving in to Instagram’s sponsorship program where bigger exposure could be guaranteed in exchange for a small fee. I will admit that I have also been affected by those issues and that I underwent a slight bout of Instagram related depression. However, I do believe there is always a silver lining to everything in life. My online presence might be suffering but my real life is improving thanks to it.

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fashion men marni gucci outfit

I used to obsessively go on the social media app, trying to catch up with everyone I followed and making sure to discover a few new faces each day that I could try and befriend. Unfortunately, this strategy has proven to be ineffective against Instagram’s newest growth barriers and I found myself waking up one day and simply not caring about my usual routine. I took a break that day, skipped my normal photo posting times and simply decided to focus on other aspects of my life. The day I lost hope in Instagram, I was set free and found myself able to rekindle my love for literature and long walks. I am not saying that I am going to be deleting Instagram tomorrow morning but rather that I learned to relinquish some of the time that I had been allocating to the app and reallocate it to other hobbies that I had long forgotten about.

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For months, I had been obsessively trying to calculate my engagement, figuring out which photos did the best number wise and trying to replicate the same effect with the hopes that it will trigger the same results. I did not always love those photos but I knew that they would do well. Since my newly found freedom, I’ve felt unchained from those mathematical values and it has once again renewed my creativity. I have noticed a change in my aesthetic and vision, finally allowing myself to look and photograph things from a different perspective that is reflective of my current stance in life. I have also rediscovered my love of literature and long walks, focussing more time on finishing the stack of unread books that I have accumulated over the years.

I know that a lot of you are being faced with those same pressures at the moment but remember: Instagram is only a glorified aspect of our lives. It is not our real life and we shouldn’t give it as much power as it has upon us. Once you get past the filters, the edits and the camera lenses, you will live your best version of the insta-life. You will live in the present.

-Didier

 

Shirt: MARNI/ Tank Top: Le 31/ Pants: UNIQLO/ Shoes: Gucci/ Ring: Gucci/ Glasses: RetroSuperFuture