Instagram has become user-generated content with adverts every fifth post. We went from following friends and their life to following personalities within our field of passions. I follow climbers, photographers, and friends. By following strangers, the timeline has become less relevant. This is especially true about following influencers.
Influencers don’t share their life. They share adverts. They share an illusion, a dream, an ideal. In so doing their posts lose value because they are no different from adverts. They are cold and devoid of character. They are impersonal. They’re a waste of time.
“but social media is a waste of time ;-)”, some would argue. Today it is, but for a long time socialising on the world wide web was about people connecting with other people and establishing friendships. The more time you devoted to forums, discussion groups and bulletin boards, the stronger the connection was.
This wouldn’t be an issue if Instagram was not profitable. This wouldn’t be a problem if our time-wasting wasn’t profitable to a third party. The problem is that we’re out on our daily activities capturing images and sharing them to a network where no one will see our posts, and where our addiction is making someone else money.
Instagram is compulsive. We go, we scroll and see posts by influences, but the posts by those that are important to us are gone. Is it because the algorithms are hiding them or is it that people are now dormant? The compulsion to check the timeline wasn’t strong enough so quantum posts were added as stories. As soon as you see them they cease to exist. IGTV is there too, trying to hook us. We watch videos but we can’t scrub through them. We’re forced to watch from the start of one video to the end. We’re then given tabloid rubbish as a suggestion for the next video to watch.
Today I posted my fiftieth photo on my WordPress photo blog. The audience is tiny, and it will take time for it to gain traction, but at least if and when it does gain traction WordPress and I can profit from it. I’d rather play with WordPress, a decentralized blogging platform for the sharing of videos, photos, and ideas than be stuck in algorithm-driven timelines where I see adverts rather than content.