When you are scrolling along in Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or any of the major social media platforms, the algorithm is watching you. It is checking to see when you stop scrolling, and when you do, it takes note. It takes note when you pause. It takes note when you ‘like’ something. It takes note when you post a comment. It takes note when you click on someone’s profile, or browse through their pictures and posts.
The algorithm keeps track of these things and calls them engagement.
The algorithm does two things with this information.
First, it searches for other, similar things to show you. Increased engagement means you stay longer, which gives sites more opportunities to put sponsored products in front of you. Simply put, more engagement from you means more money for them.
Second, it feeds the data to the businesses advertising on the site to let the content producers know what types of content gives more engagement. Again, so that more money can be made.
We have our own algorithm buried in the back of our brain that works in a similar way. It goes by many names, like subconscious, intuition, instinct, desire, or even craving. There is a part of our brain that keeps track of things we do, and tries to guide us to those things again. It is the thing that makes me crave a fresh cup of earl grey in the morning, and it also makes me want to curl up in bed when I should be going out to exercise.
There is a way to use this algorithm to make a positive impact on your own life, but first you have to be aware.
Those who are unaware they are walking in the darkness will never seek the light. – Bruce Lee
In life, the most straightforward way to tap into this algorithm is through prayer, meditation, contemplation, or simply day dreaming. However, it isn’t as simple as stopping to reflect. Thoughts and prayers only bring us an awareness of the darkness. Thoughts and prayers are useless without action.
Back to the social media algorithm, take a moment to think deeply about the posts that you see in your feed, and make some decisions. Does that post make you feel good and motivate you? Do you want to see posts similar to that one in your feed? If so, make sure to engage with that post. Engaging in the positive brings more positive into your feed.
But the same is also true with the negative. If you don’t like certain authors, and don’t comment on their content. Just scroll on by. If you don’t scroll on by, the algorithm things you want more. In fact, unfollow everyone that brings negative in your world, and let the algorithm know that you don’t want it there.
More importantly, seek out the good. Like the good. Comment on the good. Share the good. Let the algorithm know that you are seeking the good, so that the algorithm learns to bring the good to you.