I don't know if you heard but Instagram is changing its algorithm. I'm not surprised, every one's at it. At this point I'm waiting for my mum to tell me she's diverting her attention to the children that interact with her the most and therefore going forward she'll be spending all her time with my brother, who calls her every day (I know right?!).
In truth, I probably wouldn't have noticed any changes to Instagram; I didn't notice when Facebook changed until someone I had forgotten existed commented on my post and I thought, where have you been? Much as I love Instagram, I'm no Columbo when it comes to observational skills but I couldn't escape the fact because so many Instagrammers were pointing out the change and helpfully suggesting I turn on my notifications for them. This was helpful, I didn't even know Instagram had notifictions (seriously, observation skills - zilch). And now Now We Are 40, Content Mum and Channel Mum amongst others are blowing up my moby with notifications of pictorial joy.
What shocked me about the development wasn't the change a-coming but the extreme level of emotion that it seemed to generate, emotion specifically directed towards those that put up Instagram posts requesting that followers activate their notifications for them. Emotion that I can only really describe as wildly disproportionate vitriol. There was a lot of criticism of people flying about the interwebz, with many stating that they would unfollow anyone publicly making the request. It seemed peculiar to me that you would unfollow a person whom presumably you enjoyed previously because of one dud post, on a forum where I received a significant increase in followers after posting a picture of an empty plate.
So I decided to give it some thought and if you found yourself feeling emotional about yet another 'notifications' notice, you may have been a victim of one of these Instagram angsts
YOU'RE OVER INVESTED As much as I love Instagram for me it is the fast food of social media - scroll, scroll, like, scroll, scroll, like. It can be very low effort enjoyment and all quick fixes are susceptible to abuse. Are you turning to Instagram for support rather than friends and family? Are you scouring through thousands of photos of quinoa based salads, whilst eating only soggy cornflakes yourself? Perhaps it's time for an Instagram detox and that simple call for notifications has reminded you just how many people's lives you're following...
MARKETING HAS BECOME YOUR LIFE MISSION On the internet, any vaguely interesting titbit of information is like a yawn in a crowded room. You've copied, pasted and shared it before you've even noticed. In the end the message about Instagram changes was probably being shared by people that had no idea what an algorithm is, or a notification, or possibly Instagram. Within 24 hours it was too late to stand out by repeating the same message the only way to shine a light on your profile was to deride the cult of notification and establish yourself as someone with no desire for interest from the public whatsoever.
YOU ARE ALL UP IN YOUR FEELINGS Do you find yourself crying over adverts featuring abandoned pets? Are you still feeling crushed by the defeat of your Year 5 egg and spoon race? Perhaps you just can't handle change - maybe, to you, Cif will always be Jif. If this is the case, continue to play out your emotions through social media - it may be safer that way. This is me. I often find myself loving the heck out of a feed and then one day I am confronted with a post that makes it clear that my new virtual BFF is in fact shilling wraps, the not so distant cousin of Bacofoil clingfilm, the stuff that helps you to sweat out your blubber overnight or whatever and instantly I unfollow them; not because I have anything against wraps or women building businesses but because I feel betrayed. All this time I thought you shared my love of latte art and you just wanted my money...
YOU'RE A HATING HATER THAT HATES That unfollow may seem like an extremely quick and barely perceptible process but it's actually a strong statement; a statement that says, how dare you believe yourself to be worthy of my attention? Or indeed more attention than I have already willingly allocated you. Sometimes I think that's about jealousy. I know, I know that word is bandied about so much online it has started to lose all meaning but isn't there maybe a little bit, just an amuse bouche size portion of you thinking, I wish I was confident enough to tell people to follow me. To let them know that I am worthy of their time and that maybe my presence in their life could bring them a teensy bit of happiness. I know I do. So for one post and one post only I'm going to pretend:
You can find me on Instagram here and (if you like family stuff, quotations on being a kid and obviously lots and lots of coffee) I'm well worth a follow. Or not. Do whatever makes you happy.
What do you think of Instagram going all maverick on us and those notification posts?
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