OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ALGORITHMS

Los algoritmos son como la religión y la política, se trata de un tema que una vez puesto en la mesa de discusión será imposible de desenredar, guardando secretos y detalles que alimentan la obsesión (y los bolsillos) de miles de personas./ Algorithms are like religion and politics, once the topic is on the roundtable it will be impossible to come to a conclusion, keeping secrets and details that feed the obsession (and fill the pockets) of thousands of people.

LIKE IT OR NOT… 💔

Después de involucrarme en mi trabajo de diseño como creador de contenido de redes sociales para algunas empresas, he escuchado una cosa por aquí y otra por allá sobre los algoritmos, un tema que exige una actualización constante y que no para de acumular rumores que hasta ahora ni siquiera, la reina del like, Kim Kardashian ha desmentido: que si hay que dar tantos likes a tales horas, que si los comentarios con más de 5 palabras son lo que cuentan y que más vale dedicar una hora del día a generar engagement o la red social en la que queremos brillar nos condenará al olvido eterno…/ After getting involved in my work as a creator of social media content for some companies, I’ve heard many things about algorithms, a subject that demands a constant update and that keeps accumulating rumors that until now, not even the queen of likes, Kim Kardashian has denied: «no, you have to like pictures at a certain hour, you have to leave comments with more than 5 words and you have to dedicate at least an hour a day to create engagement or the app will condemn you to eternal oblivion…

Lo del olvido eterno pudiera parecer el peor castigo, pero vivimos en una época donde la gente odia con intensidad a X persona por 24 horas y después pasa a otro tema con una velocidad mayor a la que el humano promedio ve los stories de Instagram en sus ratos de ocio.…. así que esto tampoco es tan grave ¿No era más fácil sobrevivir en las redes sociales cuándo el feed de Instagram era cronológico y la felicidad en Facebook era sinónimo de tener una granja bonita? En ese entonces los únicos algoritmos que afectaban la paz mental eran los de las clases de matemáticas./ Eternal oblivion might seem the worst punishment, but we live in times where people hate a person with so much intensity for 24 hours and then they move on to another topic quicker than our fingers tapping Instagram stories… so this is not that bad, but don’t you think it was easier to survive on social media when Instagram feed was chronological and happiness on Facebook was synonymous of having a beautiful farm? At that time the only algorithms that affected peace of mind were those of math classes.

En principio, los algoritmos están aquí para hacer nuestra experiencia con las plataformas una cosa más divertida e intuitiva, pero a menudo veo posts, vídeos de Youtube y otros formatos de contenido donde tanto como especialistas y advenedizos hacen su mejor esfuerzo por descifrarlos, en un ejercicio de investigación y habilidad mental que harían ver a esos problemas de la clase de matemáticas como pan comido y donde aunque parezca que haya una respuesta correcta, todo se modifica en cuestión de días o semanas./ In principle, algorithms are here to make our experience with the platforms a more fun and intuitive thing, but I often see posts, Youtube videos and other content formats where specialists and upstarts do their best to decipher them, in an exercise of research and mental ability that would make those math exercises seem like a piece of cake and where even if there seems to be a correct answer, everything changes in a matter of days or weeks.

Antes trataba de involucrarme en estas investigaciones, pero hoy mi energía al final de la jornada es tan escasa que prefiero alejarme al menos una hora de la pantalla…. aunque siempre vuelvo por unos minutos a Twitter para reírme (o enfadarme) un poco./ I tried to do my best to get involved in these investigations, but nowadays my energy at the end of my routine is so scarce that I prefer to get away from the screen at least for an hour …. although I always go back for a few minutes to Twitter to laugh (or get angry).

Por mi parte, poco a poco he decidido convertir este espacio un baúl de ideas sin fecha de caducidad y mi Instagram en un diario visual que me funciona más como un portafolio de trabajo. Sí, la nostalgia nos dirá que todo tiempo pasado fue mejor y de vez en cuando echo de menos esas publicaciones más raras o artísticas en Instagram o los tiempos donde no todo era un anuncio publicitario, y no sé ustedes, pero a mi me sigue dando miedo cuando las redes sociales me muestran imágenes de ese chubasquero en color vibrante que olvide llevar en una tarde lluviosa, un secreto que ni siquiera me atreví a contarle a Google y que amenaza con perseguirme hasta que en un intento de liberar el estrés, corra a Asos y de click en COMPRAR./ I have decided, little by little to transform this space into a book of ideas with no expiration date and my Instagram into a visual diary that works more like a work portfolio. Yes, the nostalgia will tell us that all past time was better and from time to time I miss those more rare or artistic photos on Instagram or the days when not everything was an advertisement, and I do not know about you, but I’m still scared when social media show me images of that vibrant color rain jacket that I forgot to wear on a rainy afternoon, a secret that I didn’t even share with Google and that threatens to persecute me until I have to run to Asos and click on the word BUY. 

¿Ustedes también sienten que los algoritmos a veces los aman y a veces los odian?/ Do you also feel that algorithms sometimes love you and sometimes hate you?

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  • I will make it simple: I hate FB, Mark Zuckerberg and now IG. Honestly IG could fall of the face of the planet for all I care.

    People are getting tired and fed up with the platform with the ever changing algorithm and then there is the issue of faking it, with fake followers, fake likes, fake comments…

    Hey just a heads up. I wrote a much longer comment but much like last time I was unable to do so, I kept getting a server timing out error message. I tried 3-4 times.

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

    • Hey Allie, I totally get you….

      And yes, it is so sad to see that this app started as the alternative for those who wanted a space to express themselves, now that Facebook owns it the story is totally different and we’re in the same boat.

      PS: I’m trying to fix that problem as soon as possible, thanks for letting me know,xx

    • To elaborate a bit on my comment, I think social media can be incredibly useful for promoting products and ourselves, but it also means a lot of work. Changing algorithms certainly make things more difficult but at the end of the day we must also realize that we don’t own social media. We should be careful with it, since we don’t have that much control over it. As always, you offer great insight. I love your writing just as much as your art.

      • Thank you Ivana, it is always a pleasure to read your feedback.

        Yes, social media nowadays implies a lot of work, especially if you’re using these platforms to share something related to work, and now if we add algorithms and another strange things related to changes in technology, well… the amount of work can get even bigger.

  • Hey Pablo, it’s always a pleasure to read your posts! 🙂
    And this time you really seem to have readinto my mind, I think exactly the same about socials ( and those damn algorithms!!!)!
    Really I’ve tried to stay after the algorithms and have tried every tips i’ve found around on web to raise my socials, but they changes ever and beacame very tiring and hard to follow them!
    I mean, do you remember when Ig started and is was full only of beautiful photos (dispalyed in chronological way, that was the more logic)? I felt in love with that social as soon as I discovered it: form someone like me that loves the visual world and photography was and endless source of inspirations!!! Now is all advs and random selfie, nails, food and soft-porn pics often even of dull quality…. Pretty disappointing, isn’t it?
    And Ig, in my opinion is the social which was ruined more over time, but even Fb and Twitter are becoming worse and worse and much more incomprehensible day after day…
    After all, maybe your solution is the right one, i’d think of doing something like this too…
    XO
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

    • Hey Silvia, thanks a lot for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts with me ❤️

      I’m in the same situation! I’ve tried many things to keep my work visible but it is getting harder everyday and that’s why I do not want to put «all the eggs in one basket»… I’d rather put my blog in my social media for also here, my blog will always be mine no matter what.

      I think it has to do also with balance, right?

      Have a lovely weekend,
      P

  • Hey Fungi!

    I think it’s important to keep up with everything…. these changes, but at the same time not allow them to overtake our lives. I enjoy all the platforms because mostly they connect me with friends and family from all over. And I’ve gotten pretty good and getting off the phone and enjoying a few hours to myself 🙂

    Hope you have a great new week.

    http://www.fashionradi.com

    • Hey Radi, thanks for your words!

      Yes, that’s the good stuff about social media, especially for people like me who live in another country, despite that I always try to put the phone away for a few hours a week 🙂

  • Hey Pablo!! Hope everything is well with you, I’ve missed your articles. I agree that algorithms are absolutely shit and unreliable haha. I gave up my idea of doing IG/FB/Twitter as I just don’t have the full passion nor dedication to really stay updated with the latest algorithms and updates. I’m more for staying in control and fully focus on my website. Hope you’re having a lovely week!! Xx

    http://www.thefashionfolks.com

    • Hey Mia, hope you’re having a fantastic time! Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your opinion about this controversial topic with me 🙂

  • I would say that algorithms are useful especially when one deals with digital marketing. I’ve heard of it when I used to work for a business magazine but I honestly don’t apply whatever I learn before, now it’s gone and lost forever. Hehe I hate FB and Instagram is sort of an escape for me. I feel that I am in control of what I see and what I show others on Instagram. I would have deleted my FB account but for the purpose of using it to promote something and connect to those who doesn’t have IG, I still keep it. Yep, most of my close friends don’t have Instagram. Lol FB is our way to stay connected over something online.
    Regardless of the online platform, I would say that it does affect how people think, as least based on how they behaved on social media. I know someone who buys fake followers and although I cannot judge nor fathom why, it makes me sad that someone does that because keeping it real even in social media is important.

    • Yes, the problem is that you need to be aware of all the changes, and sometimes I’m to tired to keep track of everything that is popping out 🙁

      Fake followers is another interesting topic, should we talk about this in an upcoming blog post? Haha

  • Hey Fungi!

    What an interesting article!
    It is so wonderful that you decided to transform into your fantastic world!!
    Last sentence is so lovely, and I am same!!!

    Last year, I often checked Algorithm, but I was so tired…
    Then mathematics made me sleepy, so I could sleep and I was fine!

    Now it is enough I check only Blogger viewer numbers.
    I noticed my blog is the most important for me, so I think other SNS are advertisements for my blog!
    I am glad your lovely comment always, thank you so much, Fungi<3

    Anyway, the cool woman in your first illustration looks like me, doesn't she?

    akiko

    • Thanks for your lovely comment Akiko!

      I feel so tired about this too, I’d rather concentrate in the content and sharing specials stories with readers like you 🙂

      And OMG yes, the woman in the illustration looks like you, totally haha!

  • I feel you sometimes I love social media and sometimes I just hate it haha.
    I still love Instagram which is a great source of inspirations but sometimes I just get tired to see the same kind of pictures. And Sometimes it’s just better to close the app to appreciate the real Life and simple things instead of envying other people’s life haha,
    Xx
    Margot
    https://troughthepasturesofthesky.com/

  • Amén. Por el algoritmo estoy feliz de que Instagram esté probando de ocultar los likes. Me parece una idea brillante. Por fin vamos a poder publicar en el feed lo que más nos guste aunque sepamos que no tendrá muchos likes. Finalmente, esa era la verdadera esencia de IG, y se ha perdido en totalidad. Ahora es un sitio para sentirte frustrado, pobre y sin talento.

    • Gracias por pasarte Adriana ❤️

      Esa nueva opción que mencionas puede ser una buena manera de volver a los básicos de Instagram…. me acuerdo que antes era para mi un lugar que me inspiraba y me motivaba a hacer mejor mi trabajo y a compartir, pero ajá, dejó de ser todo eso para convertirse en lo que mencionas.