Why YouTube Algorithms Work Against Spontaneity


Despite my current channel stating I joined YouTube in 2014, I actually had a channel before that from 2006, when YouTube was still a new, growing platform. It took me a while to utilise it because back then we had no decent video content to upload, plus people were still in the process of discovering how best to use the platform. I remember a year later watching spiritual videos, mostly of Eckhart Tolle, whom I'd only discovered that year. He was the only spiritual teacher I knew of then and one day I remember down the side I saw a thumbnail image of this man. His image drew me in and I clicked on the video. It was U.G. Krishnamurti, whom I'd never heard of. I soon realised he was also a spiritual teacher of sorts but completely different to Eckhart Tolle! Eckhart had given me the impression all spiritual teachers were slow and deliberate in their movements and they all spoke calmly and had a gentle presence. U.G. blew that notion apart and I began to understand an awakened being can display anger and can move swiftly in their actions. From then on, most new spiritual teachers I came across just popped up like that at a certain time, as if I was being led from one to another when the time was right. This would happen with other things I was interested in on YouTube, such as music.

The organic nature of YouTube back then, before the complex algorithms, meant that you were constantly being surprised. I would discover songs this way and all sorts of interesting content, much of it quite raw and unpolished, some it quite amateurish but rarely boring and predictable. That almost never happens anymore and hasn't now for years. Instead I am constantly shown suggested videos that appear to be related to things I'm interested in but rarely are. It feels like you are trapped inside this loop you can't get out of. You watch stuff, the algorithms attempt to suggest more stuff like you watched, but nothing new, no surprises can get to you. It reminds me of what U.G. himself said about the internet back in the mid-2000s - "Once you put selectivity and censorship in the computers, their usefulness is finished". That is exactly how I feel. Not just on YouTube, but Google and elsewhere, I can hardly find anything interesting these days. All the interesting websites, blogs, and pages I used to come across on Google no longer show up, everything is the same online; bland and boring and sterile.

The algorithms on all the platforms from YouTube to Instagram to Twitter/X support the same old hierarchy we've always known. You have to tick all the boxes, do all the right things by these systems, to get anywhere. I'm well aware of this, despite people often saying to me "You should have way more views/followers than this". I know fine well why I don't have. Do I care? Not really. I'm not gonna jump through hoops just to try to grab peoples' attention. So why do I bother? Well, I create stuff and put it out there in the off-chance it will reach those who are ready to hear/see it and may help those people in some way. Still, I'm realistic enough to know the way society is set up the majority of people will ignore it, misunderstand it and that it will not be helped or promoted by the algorithms which are all about helping those who play the game.

When there were no algorithms it was a bit more of a level playing field. From a spiritual perspective, that meant that synchronicity could do it's thing. Everything we create has a vibration and without interference like will attract like - meaning if I put a song video out, that video has a particular frequency and like a heat-seeking missile will go on it's journey showing up for people who embody a similar frequency to the song video. That's how I came across U.G. and the other spiritual teachers. What the algorithms do is get in the way of that connection by introducing a filter or "middle-man". Algorithms are like the mind not the heart. The heart is where synchronicity happens. People are not one-dimensional. You can't tell who will respond to what you put out based on mind preferences. We are much more subtle and complex than that. So instead of that piece of content finding it's natural audience, if it doesn't tick certain boxes, it will be denied (or at least delayed) on its journey to it's rightful people. Of course, now and again, despite the algorithms, something gets through but it's much more restricted than when things are allowed to move around freely without interference. Of course, Consciousness, the source of all creation, is more powerful than any algorithm so these things can only ever temporarily block or delay the flow of Consciousness. Inevitably, it will find a way through in the end.

I see that temporary block most clearly on Instagram where I once had over 100 followers, lost most of them during the lockdown years, and now whatever I post seems to go nowhere and reach no-one. Most probably because of some of my anti-lockdown/masks/jabs posts but also because the algorithms are more selective and sophisticated now, finely tuned to support only creators who play the game Instagram wants them to play. I continue to post anyway because someone somewhere will hear or see it and just the fact its out there and exists for people to discover is more powerful than you may realise because everything is vibration.

You may think it's sour grapes on my part, that I'm just jealous of those who are thriving on these platforms. Not at all. Disappointed this is the way the world is in 2023... yes, definitely. I had more faith in humanity than this. I thought we were better than this. What do I have to be jealous about? If I have to do what I see others do to be successful in this climate then, no thanks, I'm not interested. Don't mistake all of this for me being downbeat or unenthusiastic about what I do. I love what I do and its very meaningful to me to get it out there and have it reach and connect with people. But I'm sorry, I can't muster much enthusiasm for the current climate I have to exist within. I saw such a different vision of how it could be and still I feel the same about that vision.