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Instagram, Algorithms, Expectations and Disappointments

We live in exciting times, it has all come together for creatives to create. The gear is more accessible, it is much easier to find collaborators, it is easier to edit and enhance the creations, and the world is full of ideas being put out there every second.

Despite all of the above, it is a well known fact that social media, is one of the largest influencers of mental health issues. A rising number of people are facing un-happiness, depression, anxiety disorders due to social pressure to look like someone, be like someone, create like someone, be liked by someone and of-course afford the lifestyle of someone.

Each individuals issues are different. I will speak from a photographer or a creative point of view. I recently read a post by a seasoned, mature, experienced photographer with a brilliant body of work, in which he mentions being disappointed with Instagram, and wanting to move away from it. Instagram, like every platform is constantly evolving and these changes are meant for their own benefit, to make more money. We must also remember, that Instagram was never meant for creatives when it started off. It was meant to just show instant whatever. Today they have moved on to more videos and reels, that attract more traction than stills. To add to that, they also have pretty strict community guidelines and a combination of all this decides how visible or invisible you get on the platform, which in turn also affects your growth. All these have been a cause of heart burn for a lot of creatives who are worried about the engagement issue and growth etc etc. This also affects the way they create and post, eventually letting instagram dictate how you create.

For example me went gradually to 36K followers over the past 3-4 years that I have been here. And since I have not changed my style of posting, I have been steadily losing a few hundred followers every week, and the graph is pretty much a downward spiral. But, looking at it again, I always remind myself, is it really a downward spiral ? The idea is to focus on your reason to be on instagram. For me, I am not from the fashion, art or any industry. For me instagram has always been a place to network, connect, and find more people " to create with" . The number of people who follow me, or like my work, is only a by-product of

everything else. For me it is more important to find people who say, Let's Shoot Ash. And they maybe a few dozen, and that is exactly what I am here for. Even today, Instagram is the best place for me to find such people. For posting freely etc etc I use multiple modes like website, patreon, vero behance etc. Tomm, if there is something better than Instagram to connect with more creatives I will move there, but it is just that. Nothing more nothing less.

I ve realised that the more I keep reminding myself of this, the easier it is on me, helps me stay positive, and stay focused, and most importantly not affect the way i create. Food for thought......



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