“Hi, missing, where are you? I don’t see you here on Insta anymore. Where are your texts that I love so much?”
“What do you mean, missing?”, I replied to my friend. “Every day, the first thing I do is write my textão. Why did I disappear on Insta? What did I do wrong?”
Paraphrasing the famous phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid,” she replied, “It’s the algorithm, stupid.”
“The algorithm isn’t happy when you don’t follow its rules. When it doesn’t like what you do, it hides your profile. You have more engagement than influencers who have millions of followers, but you have to stop writing texts about sadness , violence against the elderly, pandemic, war, crises. Start making videos of funny dances”.
She gave more examples of what the algorithm doesn’t like:
“Mirian, instead of writing about Will Smith’s slap like everyone else is doing, did you post a video of Ney Matogrosso singing the song “Fala”, from 1973?”.
Truth. I don’t know how to say anything by saying or writing about what everyone is writing, so I posted:
“I can’t say anything unsaid, so I listen / If you say all you want, then I listen / Speak / If I don’t understand I won’t answer, so I listen / I’ll only speak when I speak, so I listen/speak”.
I created an Instagram profile in May 2018 because many women who saw my TEDx “The invention of a beautiful old age” asked. I started to spend a few minutes, twice a week, to post a photo and a few sentences.
On December 24, 2021 I received a message that completely changed my connection to the virtual world:
“Hi, Mirian, I think your way of responding to each of the messages you receive is so beautiful and unique. It makes us feel very special. In addition to this pampering, comes your touching, sensitive, real writing. It’s one of the things I like most about Insta. Here we see so much of others, but we are invisible. Then we find you who, even without the power of eye to eye, can see us from the inside, answer us, make us important. You humanize this virtual world”.
Since then, I spend hours and hours every day writing and replying to the messages I receive. Sometimes it’s 500 or even more, but I answer one by one.
In more than 30 years as a researcher and professor of research methods and techniques, I learned what a “saturation point” is: the moment to stop, when there is no point in listening to more researched people, as they do not add new ideas, they only repeat what has already been said by others and do not help to understand the phenomenon studied.
When I post my texts, I don’t keep asking myself if the algorithm will be happy or not. I’m more concerned with what my readers will comment on an issue that I think is really relevant. It’s almost a shared diary, with my anxieties, doubts and reflections.
I don’t know what the algorithm likes or not, I don’t even know if I want to know and I’m often angry with those who know and only post with the aim of getting more “followers”, a word I hate. I can’t parrot repeat what everyone is being forced to say in order to seal and somehow profit. I learned the importance of the “art of silence” and that silence often says more than verbal incontinence with an air of moral and intellectual superiority.
Like Raul Seixas, “I prefer to be this walking metamorphosis than to have that old opinion formed about everything”.
I’ve reached saturation point, I’m exhausted from the angry verbose bombardment of the polemic of the moment that quickly dies as soon as a new one emerges. Controversies and gossip end up distracting us from more significant and urgent issues for our lives, don’t they?
Is that exactly what the algorithm and the controversy experts want? Just distract us from what really matters?
You also can’t take the controversy over the slap of Will Smith anymore?
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