It’s very likely that you’ve heard the term algorithm. You may even been told to learn or follow the algorithm. If you’ve experienced a decline in activity of some sort, it might be suggested it’s because of the algorithm. But could we consider our life in the algorithm?
Algorithm is a term that has become very common in today’s culture. If you’re on a computer, or some other wired device, there is an algorithm. Each of the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) have their own embedded formula within their system that filters what comes in and determines whether it’s significant or not. The more significant information or activity seems, the more visibility or frequency it will receive; because it has been identified as having better search engine optimization (SEO) or ranking in the algorithm. Likewise, if you’re on any of the social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), they, too, have an algorithm.
How the Algorithm Works
By broad definition, an algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end. As it relates to social media, the algorithms are consistently changing. In order to see certain posts over others, a post has to score higher in the algorithm. So, the more link clicks, likes, the more engagement/comments others have made on the post…even the more impressions it has (no like or engagements, just slowdown looks) …the more likely you are to see it when you’re scrolling through your feed. If a post gets little to no engagement, it will score lower in the algorithm and may not even be presented for others to view.
Yep, though these platforms are for “social” engagement, the popular kids still get all the attention.
Why the Algorithm?
These platforms are running a business, so it’s their JOB to keep people on them. I learned this firsthand as a blogger. In order for my blog post to be seen on Facebook, I must now (because the algorithm changed) put the link in the comments. If I put the link as an actual post, the algorithm understands that the post is directing people AWAY from the platform to my website; so, it will limit how often the post is seen.
Engaging the Algorithm
Note: For my regular Facebook followers, please keep this in mind; and be sure to engage with those post and click the link in the comments, so that this computes as engagement and keeps the post in the algorithm for view. Likewise, here on the blog, click the LIKE ⭐ button for the same reason. It’s usually located at the very end of the text. Remember, I’m not only trying to grow my brand, but I’m also trying to provide valuable content to help women evolve spiritually and holistically. Your support is appreciated.
Not only does the algorithm pick up on frequent engagement for which post are presented most often, it also tracks who an individual is more likely to engage with and will usually show those post first. These posts would more than likely be the person’s closest friends.
Trends and the Algorithm
How do I know all this about algorithms? Since becoming a blogger, I’ve had to learn the details about algorithms. And it has been completely tiring and frustrating and times. As soon as you think you’ve learned the algorithm, something changes. And because all the platforms are in competition with each other, you can never get too comfortable or complacent. And let’s not even talk about the trends!
You know what’s “trending” now? Videos!
All the platforms are trying to compete with TikTok. So now we get Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Pinterest Idea Pins. And the shorter the video, the better. Why? Because, hypothetically speaking, as a society, we all have ADHD. Our attention span towards anything these days is short. It’s short towards food, styles, entertainment, news, values, and relationships. Here today gone tomorrow is the algorithm.
Consistency and the Algorithm
But in studying algorithms and listening to different strategists, one component that has resonated with me more than anything is CONSISTENCY. Where there is consistency, there is life in the algorithm.
So, I was thinking…isn’t life an algorithm of sorts? I mean, aren’t we always trying to figure out how to stay relevant? Relevant in our interests, families, careers, relationships, finances. Let’s be honest. Most people hope for “life in the algorithm.” But just when we think we’ve figured out the system for keeping a balance…the rhythm changes – algorithm that is. And the reason so many fail or fall short in these areas of life is because we don’t maintain consistency in discipline or commitment to them.
Life in the Algorithm
In every area that I mentioned, at some point a shift takes place. There is some trend that comes out and all of a sudden, we’re going about it all wrong, or at least in a different direction. We need to jump on the bandwagon of trending culture. No longer can you just tell a few folks you’re having a baby. Now you must have gender reveal. Or, just when you thought you would commit to investing, it doesn’t matter if it’s not in the trend of crypto or Bitcoin. We must fit into the algorithm.
I don’t know about anyone else, but one of the things I quickly learned at the beginning of the pandemic, when schools resorted to at-home-learning, was that school had changed A LOT from when I was in school. Multiplication and division, they both got a REVAMP from what I learned during my days of schooling. They call it NEW MATH. But I know I’m not the only one who forced their kid into OLD MATH during those months they were home. “You can relearn “new math” when you’re back with your teachers.” (LOL)
So, while we’re on children, I would be comfortable enough to say the algorithm has also changed for parenting too. What was acceptable in parenting when I was growing up is no longer acceptable. I struggle with this, because I don’t disagree with my parent’s approach to parenting much. However, as I look at some of the parenting post I read today, I’m hesitant to offer my opinion because it’s a bit out of scope from what is seen as good parenting in our current culture. So, I find myself out of sync with the algorithm.
Faith and the Algorithm
What came to my thought, too, was the tendency to even be on the outside of the algorithm as it relates to our faith. Hard to consider? I think not; especially when we think of the “trending” that even takes place in the church where most of us take our lead. The church, too, has had a tendency at any given time to lean towards practices or teachings popular to trends and culture. Oh yes! The church has been in the algorithm.
The churches that start the trend are on top, while those with fewer resources are on the bottom. By bottom, I mean, less attendance and support, less money to have a community impact or visibility. There are so many relevant and needed responsibilities in the church; but sometime the missing element for them being effective is the same as the online tech community — CONSISTENCY.
Faith requires consistency.
Regardless of what is trending… PRAYER, TIME IN THE WORD, and engagement with others in the faith must remain consistent, if significant results are to be expected.Dawn Charleston-Green
We can go with the trends and beef up the subject of salvation so that conversion takes place for non-believers and church attendance rises; but if those preaching salvation are not consistent in their own prayer walk, who will keep the rhythm going? Who will have grace for and encourage or engage with the novice when they’re in the struggle of trusting God?
Yes, it could be more popular to have a praise and worship team over a choir right now. Or maybe you’re really doing good if you have both. But if you have a TUNE about God but don’t have a TESTIMONY about who He is in your life (because you’ve been inconsistent in your relationship with Him) you’re knocking yourself out of the algorithm.
Beliefs and the Algorithm
In a political and societal climate like we experience today, if we stand by our trending opinions (Me Too, Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Back the Blue, Masked/Unmasked, Vaxed vs. Unvaxed) but support with no consistent personal faith, prayer life, or time in the Word… What keeps us protected or civil, and in an aura that pleases God? If by standing firm on our opinion all we gain is stress, anger, and new enemies…what have we gained that benefits us? But when we stand firm on Word of God and prayer, we gain a promise and expectation of peace that surpasses all understanding.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7
God and the Algorithm
You see, I believe that God has an algorithm too and it’s not at all based on what’s trending; but rather, on what’s consistent. And He’s such a good God that even if we haven’t engaged with Him recently, He won’t drop us to the bottom of the algorithm. He holds our place; because even when we aren’t consistently pursuing Him, He’s consistently pursuing us.
Yes, He loves those who openly love Him and engage with Him in prayer; but He equally loves those who are just getting an impression of Him (no likes or engagement, but just a slow down).
The difference is though, those who engage with Him have much more access to the benefits that come from being in relationship with Him; because they understand and know the benefits are available.
And to our advantage, God’s algorithm isn’t constantly changing. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever more.
But like the platforms we’ve come to know, there is a competitor (Satan); and though he’s no real competition, he’s ALWAYS trying to get us to click away from God. Our key to overcoming this tendency remains consistent engagement with God; so that doing right is what’s at the top of our feed. It’s our natural proclivity. It becomes what others see when they witness our lives, and they’ll begin to model this behavior too.
So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you. 8 Come near to God, and he will come near to you. ~James 4:7-8a
Your Life in the Algorithm
So, I wrote this whole post just to ask… Where are you in the algorithm? Are you following the trends of the culture for a temporary boost of some sentiment of fulfillment or success?
Know that God requires consistency.
Remember, by definition, an algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end. Life is a series of problem solving, working through some things, and figuring some stuff out. Learn the algorithm. Follow the algorithm of faith and consistency. Whether in considering your interests, family, career, marriage, finances, or purpose; the key is not necessarily what’s trending, but it’s always consistency. Apply the algorithm. But not the one of this worlds. God’s.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Fortunately for us, God’s not just scrolling through to see who’s popular. He sees each and every one of us and offers us hope. In fact, He doesn’t have to scroll to find us. He’s right there through it all. We’re always in His view because He calls us friend.
I encourage you… Be consistent in your faith. Seek God daily through prayer and His word, and you’ll reap the benefits. Remember before the days of “clicking,” life in the algorithm consisted of asking, seeking, and knocking. And those options are still available today. ~Dawn ☀
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. ~Matthew 7:7-8
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I hope this message has brought some value to you. If it has, COMMENT and tell me about your life’s algorithm. What helps you to remain consistent? If you struggle to maintain consistency in your life, what hinders you?
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