Social Medi…EURGHH!

Last weekend I had a weekend away from social media. Last weekend I wasn’t peering through a lens or scrolling through my phone, instead, I was swinging off a drop saw and a nail gun.

Anyway, come Monday evening, when the tools were packed away, I sat down with a well-earned beer to check in on what I’d missed on Instagram. Or should I say, what Instagram decided I’d missed?

I just want to be alone
Yeah, I don’t want a social life
Disconnect my telephone
Yeah, I don’t want a social life
Teenage Bottlerocket – Social Life

Opening up IG, the first post in my feed was from 4 hours ago. I thought to myself, “Wow! It’s been quiet on Instagram while I’ve been away?” only to see the previous post was 2 hours. So, I “need” to see a photo from 4 hours ago before I see one from 2 hours ago do I? But I’ve been away all weekend. Just catch me up on what I’ve missed. When I missed it. Not what you think I might’ve missed!

Seeing folks’ photos featured on toy and LEGO photography groups, after I’d seen their origin post. Or was it before? I’m confused.

Yet, when I clicked through to users’ profile pages, to see if I’d missed something that IG thought I didn’t need to see, there were all their posts, in the order they’d posted them? So why Instagram, do you display individual’s profiles in chronological order, yet my feed is all over the shop?


There’s a real cool club on the other side of town
Where the real cool kids go to sit around
And talk bad about the other kids
Yeah it’s a real cool club, and you’re not part of it
Screeching Weasel – Cool Kids

What’s next IG? I know you suggest photos and feeds to me, which is great; I’ve actually discovered some amazing LEGO photographers through your suggestions that I now follow. But why stop at suggesting? You seem to think you know what order I need to see photos in, what about choosing the photos I see all together? Or whom I follow?

I’ve never really bought into the whole algorithm debate up until now. But spending some time away from Instagram has just reinforced in me what I’ve heard so many others complain about.

Three days away, and I don’t think I’m any wiser to what happened in those three days.

Although Instagram thinks I am?

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7 years ago

It’d be lovely if IG gave us a choice of a chronological feed via an option. Surprised they haven’t yet, seeing as they’re owned by Facebook and that has the option.

7 years ago

Brett, I feel you. On the other hand smart selections or curation will be the future of social feeds if they want to stay relevant. The AI that is curating your feed is tapping not only in what you liked the most, but the bigger data lake of IG (and FB) to give you the most relevant posts first, depending on your time you have. I know that most of us feel we should not be curated, but think of it from a different angle. You just enjoyed three days away and on your return, your personal curator presents you… Read more »

The Aphol
7 years ago

Totally agree. Often i visit directly the profiles to be sure i’ve not missed anything…

7 years ago

Excellent post! Although, I still do not know how that algorithm works, they don’t run it over here – yet. But I dread the day they do. The very idea of someone, or something, deciding what I like on my behalf is an abomination. I follow the people who I want to follow, what is wrong with that? I welcome the suggestions, it works well, but this, this is just wrong. An algorithm that highlights “the best content” is actually playing down the unexpected and interesting material; the new styles and looks that are bubbling under here and there with… Read more »

Krash Override
7 years ago

Oh the dreaded algorithm how I hate it. I was just talking to Shelly about this today….it has destroyed my visibility on Instagram. I feel they do nothing but promote a stale user experience.

7 years ago
Reply to  Krash Override

I have noticed the same since that sodding algorithm went in.

Makes it hard to get freelance work as an influencer when the numbers no longer back up this claim :/

7 years ago

It and Facebook’s algorithm, likely managed by the same team, are the worst! At least Facebook still has a ‘Most recent” though they seem to be trying to make it harder and harder to find until you forget it’s there. We already have the ability to curate our own feeds, it’s called the follow button! But yes, at least give us the ability to look chronologically too. I sometimes find that I have to go through my own following list to find folks to jump into their feeds to see what they have posted, and doing so, and liking a… Read more »

Stefan (@herrsm)
7 years ago

Interesting read indeed. Of course I´ve experienced some of this, too, but… As I still own an old mobile that runs on a slowly dying OS (yes, a Nokia WindowsPhone) I´m still using a third party app called 6Tag. Instagram had been very not-caring to this platform so 6Tag was a clever and well made equivalent to still see and do everything on IG. These algorythms just as ads seem to appear less there than on my even older iPhone I´m still using from time to time. Showing the people that they´re not actually in charge of what they´re shown… Read more »

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