Yesterday, Gizmodo and a multitude of other outlets reported on an impending change to Instagram’s chronological photo and video postings. “Watch Out, People Are About to Get Unreasonably Upset About The Order of Their Instagram Feeds,” reads a headline from Gizmodo’s very own Sophie Kleeman, a writer I personally hired who then proceeded to pierce a hole into the black, FOMO-filled core of my heart with this news blog.
I am people. And I am unreasonably upset about the impending changes to the order of my Instagram feed.
To back up for a hot second: Instagram, like so many other online networks, has decided to shift away from a chronological timeline—from most recent to least—in favor of an algorithmically determined churn of posts that will allegedly most appeal to a given user’s preferences and sensibilities. Facebook (which owns Instagram) made this switch in 2009, and Twitter offers an opt-outable “While You Were Away” algorithmic timeline as well. The rationale of the switch for Instagram, according to the New York Times, is to ensure that users don’t miss photos and videos they’d most like to see, from users they interact with most often.
. . . .
I follow 319 people on Instagram. And I don’t miss a damn thing.
You want to know why? Chronology. Chronology and a serious case of obsessive narcissistic voyeur’s disorder (ONVD; I made this disease up), coupled with profound insecurity and a desperate fear of missing anything within a contained digital environment that I have designed with the careful selection of 319 accounts I choose to compulsively track. Oh, did I mention that I like control and fear its opposite? If I don’t control some element of my life—some small element, no matter how trite or frivolous, some element like Instagram—everything falls apart. This only all sounds horrible if you aren’t used to it.
Link to the rest at Gizmodo