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UN-LIKING INSTAGRAM



I've been having a bloody good moan about every single social media out there at the moment, it's like we were best buds and now we're sworn enemies - we just don't love each other anymore... On my Instagram I've been posting stories about this subject, I've even been tweeting about it, so it's probably time I actually wrote about it. Here goes nothing!

I've fallen out with social media, mostly Instagram, which feels strange because we've been attatched to the hip for a very long time. For a wannabe creator and picture-maker, an app where you can make pretty grids with your personal work on is the dream. Honestly, when I first came across it I knew it'd be love at first sight. Now, it's a whole different story.



So here's me about to sound low-key pathetic while I moan about engagement, tragic! As we all know, Instagram has changed a lot recently with it's algorithm and shadow-banning. Not sure what this all means? Let me break it down for you.

ALGORITHM -
noun
noun: algorithm; plural noun: algorithms
a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.


In Instagram terms, this means that images and users with high engagement such as likes, comments, shares and views will rank higher on your feed. Which is my terms mean MY POSTS DO CRAP. I'm only small, so my posts have never received a lot of likes, but recently it's dropped increasingly. When you've only got a small following you don't expect all of the likes, but you do expect something. Last week I posted a photo I really liked, but it flopped so hard I had to take it down and sulk about it. This is what upsets me most. I, as a photographer, enjoy images and the ones I take. I take pride in my content and when no one else sees it or feels the same, that's really quite sad. I don't expect to 'break the internet' but I do expect Instagram to not hide my content from my followers. I need all the help I can get to grow myself as a creative, and not having this platform to support me anymore is devastating. 


SHADOW BANNING -
Stealth banning (also called shadow banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking a user or their content from an online community such that the user does not realise that they have been banned.


Basically, our posts are starting to disappear and not become visible when using hashtags. Instagram responded to this by stating that
'When developing content, we recommend focusing on your business objective or goal rather than hashtags'. OK INSTGRAM let me try and build my business without the genuine help of a fucking hashtag. I personally don't see any issue with using this symbol, I often search for posts using it. To come back with that is a huge bite in the ass, and it's users didn't take it lightly. 

I'm not over exaggerating when I say that every single day I see at least three people talk about this ongoing issue. My problem is that I'm trying so hard to produce work that I love, enjoy and want to share with my online community, but I'm not having the support or platform I need to do so. 


I am not on a level where I have a huge following and this doesn't overly effect me, I'm attempting to grow myself and my personal brand at the moment, but I feel like it's not going anywhere. It does make me want to give up, but then I remember that yes it isn't about the likes and it is a little bit tragic to get emotional about it, but then I also remember that this is peoples careers and one day it could be mine. In reality, even these incredible creators are finding it a struggle because they're the ones being paid for their engagement, so actually they need the views more than me!




SHIRT - NASTY GAL | TROUSERS - H&M | RINGS - BLOODY MARY METAL

All in all, the whole thing is grinding on me. I never thought I'd be someone who cared about this, but all I want to do is succeed. On a recent programme titled 'Celebrity Hunted', Jamie Lang (Made in Chelsea) has a break down about not living his life to the full and caring too much about his Instagram likes, which completely shook me. It's so easy to feel self conscious online and I believe a lot of people related to this. Jamie, I'm with you!  We are the modern age, social media and an online presence is huge, so it's time our platforms had our backs again! 

I have a little solution for this, and I like to think it'll help a tiny bit. I use Instagrams one decent tool which is the notification button, which means I turn on notifications for my favourite accounts. When they upload a new photo, I get told! So, I can constantly see what they post (and it doesn't get lost on my time line thanks to algorithm) and like the image. Simple. I'm still seeing my favourite content and their still getting my love. 

I know I'm not the only one having a moment, so I wanted to write about it and almost get it off my chest. Also, if anyone wants to make a new platform I highly recommend it, hell if I had the brains to make an app I'd do it in a heart beat!
 
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