You know that tall guy from the really long movie who said “life is like a box of chocolates”?
Yeah, fuck that.
Life is like the Instagram Algorithm.
This is about to get really deep, so stay with me here.
As most of us know, there used to be a time where we had chronological instagram feeds. It was back when your only worry was posting during a time when you knew people were online. Back when you could scroll down your feed and say to your friend “Hey, remember the guy I made out with last year? Totally forgot about him, but he just posted this.”
Business wise, it meant that the first ones to come along had the highest chance of success. Retaining followers was just a matter of having them follow you. Getting their engagement was just a matter of posting at the right time of day.
But then it changed into the ones that have the most engagement will have the highest chance of keeping it. Businesses lost likes, comments, views, meaning profits went down and were given to the Jenners instead.
Long gone were the profiles you rarely visited but you wish you had, burried deep in the masses of your following list, never to be seen again.
This is the kind of shit life throws at you. Routines will get disrupted, what used to work will eventually be irrelevant, and you’ll never truly know what you had until someone rips it away from you during an automatic update you never said yes to.
Worst of all, you will never see it coming.
On a more positive note, I feel like we’ve now been through our mourning stage, and it’s safe to talk about it again. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve learned some pretty valuable life lessons along the way.
#1 Don’t Blame The Change
In my eyes there are two types of reactions to life throwing off your algorithm. There are the the people who blame the change and the people who embrace the challenge.
Life is always going to throw you curveballs. It’s always going to change.
It’s not about what shit you get thrown at you, but it’s your reaction to lifes shit that matters.
I constantly see people blaming their circumstances for where they are, but it’s just not a valid reason to give up. #notsorry
Maybe you spent two years building a business only to wake up with half the amount of engagement you used to have. You spend a few months watching the numbers go down, becacuse your followers can’t find you anymore.
They forget, they move on, they have other things to look at.
Although it sucks, this doesn’t mean your business is dead.
You didn’t lose everything, you lost something, and there is a difference.
This goes for real life too.
I met a guy once who had an algorithm change a few years back and let it get the best of him.
He lost nearly $100 million during a lawsuit and stopped going to work.
Just like that, gave up on his entire career. There’s not a single day where the lawsuit isn’t mentioned, just like there’s not a single day where he doesn’t talk about who he used to be.
The worst part?
He could easily continue his career, talks about getting back into the game every single day, yet it’s now been four years.
Sometimes you’ll be forced to start over, but it’s about actually starting over, taking that first step again, not sitting on a boat in the Greek islands for four years, drinking Whisky for breakfast and reminiscing of what could have been.
This is the equivalent of losing instagram engagement.
Someone changed his life’s algorithm, so he stopped posting alltogether.
Edit: He didn’t just stop posting, he deleted the whole fucking app.
(Metaphorically speaking, of course.)
My point is: No amount of shit is an excuse for passive behavior.
Stop blaming the change and get back in the game.
Which brings me to my next point…
#2 Stop Living In The Past
Instead of reminiscing of what used to be, go out there and recreate it.
I dare you to.
The problem is that the more you live in the past, the more fear you’re adding onto your present.
The more you remember the details of how great things were “back then”, the higher the expectations you’ll be putting onto the present, thus creating more fear and hesitation.
Just don’t go and live on a boat and drink to your past successes.
Get back in the game.
It’s fine to take a break, but eventually you’re going to have to push the button again.
#3 Change The Strategy, Not The Goal
Here’s the harsh reality:
You can’t force a strategy that no longer works.
There is a huge difference between hard work and smart work, and these are the situation where you’ll notice.
Whether you’re looking for a job, trying to start a business, wanting to lose weight, quitting bad habits, it doesn’t matter.
You can’t just close your eyes and add on the working hours and decide that hard work will result in success.
You can’t just keep posting and waiting for the algorithm to change back, wait for hard work to pay off. Staying busy and sacrifising nights out isn’t enough in itself.
There’s so much more to success than that.
But that is not to say you should change your end goals just because you don’t know how to reach them anymore.
Whatever your goal is in life, if you don’t have the answers, find the ones who do.
Network with people who know what you don’t, learn how to do things differently.
If what you do matters enough to you, you’ll be open to changing everything except for the goal.
#4 Adaptability Is The Most Valuable Skill To Have
Because chances are they’re going to change it again. I’m not just talking Instagram, I’m talking life, work, relationships, everything.
Life is going to change its algorithm over and over and the more adaptable you are, the less it will affect you.
So you spent a few weeks taking a break and signing petitions to get the old algorithm back, only to slowly start coming to terms with it, finding a new strategy and start posting again. Next time it’ll take you a week to get back in the game. Then it’ll take a few days to push the button.
Before you know it, you’ll be waiting in excitement for the next curveball because you want the challenge, because you realize that life is boring without having something to fight for.
If you don’t know where to start, just start, and pay attention along the way. Take on the challenges life throws at you.
You’re not unstoppable because you don’t have fears or doubts, you’re unstoppable because you continue despite them.
#5 It’s about the quality of your relationships, not the amount
Ok, so this is actually a cute one.
As you may have noticed the algorithm change is based on giving you more quality content.
The posts you see are not based on how many followers they have, it’s based on how much you interact with them.
Basically it’s based on how much you really care. Like really care.
It’s based on the instagram stories you view to the end, on the photos you like, and some even say it knows how many seconds you’ll stay on someones profile before leaving, regardless of whether you like anything.
In life, this means spending more time on the people that matter, instead of trying to maintain networks of 100-200 people at the same time.
And in return, the more we care and engage with others, the more we matter on their feeds as well.
You can’t bullshit your way to success, just like you can’t fake your way to friends, and you can’t buy relationships.
#6 Your mom will always find a way onto your feed
No matter where you are or who you follow, your closest ones will always find their way to the top of your feed even with no followers.
Somehow your mom will still beat the Kardashians.