About that time I was “blessed” by the algorithm.

Imagine trying to say things that contain nuance on social media in the year of the lord, 2024.

Yeah, that shit doesn’t fly well with the algorithms.

The algorithms decide if you will win the popularity contest on the internet, by pushing out your content to more people to get that sweet, sweet engagement.

I never really cared for the popularity contest because I had nothing riding on it. That was, until I started a nutrition coaching business, and suddenly I had to become a salesperson.

I tried doing that by telling the honest story. It was mostly a variant of: “want to lose weight / get your bodyfat% down / get your muscle% up / feel healthier? Put in the work, invest in the basics, cultivate new habits. I can help you with that, so hire me as your coach!”

Any marketing and sales person would probably scoff at how unoriginal and boring this message is. But it is the truth!

As we all know, this sort of realist messaging doesn’t do well at all with the algorithm.

What does do well is: clout, rage-bait, controversy, memes, making up problems and selling overly simple solutions, selling a short-cut that doesn’t work but makes people believe they can skip the hard work, and in the case of nutrition coaching: extreme lean looks to sell your services (often achieved with the help of performance enhancing drugs).

I have this annoying thing called “a moral standard”, so I refuse to tickle the algorithm in the way it would like to be tickled.

For a year, I have made my boring but honest video messages. I have converted a few people into clients, but not enough to make a living off my nutrition coaching. The algorithm wasn’t impressed, and stayed silent.

On my personal Instagram account, I started posting more memes for the simple reason that I like memes. I enjoy poking fun at things. In this case, I was poking fun at powerlifting and powerlifters. As a group, we do some crazy shit. We sniff ammonia, buy new shoes when they come out in new colors, believe way too much in rituals to lift a couple more kilos, and we abuse caffeine like there’s no tomorrow. Aka: there’s enough to poke fun at.

The first couple memes I posted were well received.

But then, I made a grave mistake.

I made a joke about men. About ball sacks, to be specific. I’m not going to repeat the joke here, as it’s not relevant for the point I’m trying to make. I get that the words “ball sack” might spark your curiosity, but trust me: the ball sack isn’t the point!

The point is that I thought it was 100% obvious I was making a joke, but I was wrong. Without being aware of it, I had tickled the algorithm. My video was “meme” (my intention) + “rage-bait” (unintentional), and the algorithm was like: let me bless you with engagement!!

Random men I had never interacted with were PISSED that I made a joke about men. A lot of them decided that cussing me out was a perfectly fine answer to my joke. Views and comments started rolling in.

At first, I was deleting the awful comments by hand and blocking those people, but it got old quick. It stressed me the f out to open the Instagram app and actually bracing myself for the hatred of random men.

I took a mental step back and asked myself if this was worth it.

The answer was a hard and resounding: FUCK NO.

If this is the effect of a meme video then I’d rather not have it.

This is a game I definitely don’t want to play, so fuck the blessing of the algorithm. I’ll slither back into my hole of obscurity.

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