The Social Media Game
Social media. The game you love to hate. Between ever-changing algorithms and a company’s drive to capitalize on their community, more and more users are feeling disillusioned. I can personally attest to the diminishing high instagram and facebook provide, having hit my peak in 2016 when posts still appeared in chronological order. Now, in order to stay relevant and grow your numbers, you have to turn your camera around. No longer are these platforms about putting beautiful images out into the world, but rather getting the world to take an interest in YOU, and what you’re doing. This ignites the journey towards “influencer” (aka celebrity) status. Which is contradictory to our art as birth storytellers.
It’s daunting and depressing, knowing that users no longer have complete control over what shows in their feeds. They have to almost obsessively check your account/business page in order for you to remain visible to them. I am sure that the new labels like “top fan” and “visual storyteller” are an attempt to influence interest driven users to stick around. Then the influencee becomes the influencer. I see what you did there, facebook.
In an effort to stay ahead of the curve, we are in a constant state of figuring, “When should I post? How often should I post? Should I use hashtags? How many hashtags should I use? What copy will catch people’s attention?” Our very identity has become tied to this unpredictable machine.
I recently commented in our Facebook group Birthbound Photogapher | Learn and Grow that I am so over it. I don’t enjoy posting anymore. It feels like doing laundry… just another necessary evil. I miss posting out of sheer excitement over a photo, or birth story. Not stopping to wonder if it flows aesthetically in my newsfeed, or has enough shock factor. Not feeling less because it only got 40 (versus my former 500) likes.
Which is why I am making an effort to go back to my roots: blogging. Remember that? Ahhhhh, I had all but forgotten that my website = my space. Aside from a little light housekeeping I can share those things that excite me. My voice is important here. MY WORDS, not some canned phrase I purchased because it plays nicely with algorithms.
Will I continue to post my work on Facebook and instagram? Yeah. It’s not all misery, especially once I stopped allowing it to affect my self worth.
And I know it has to be done. Just like my laundry.