Aiming for Zero

Well, this post is not what I hoped it would be, and for that, I am sad. Sad. Very sad. Originally, I planned to come before you, dear reader, proud with accomplishment, but alas, I have not yet achieved my goal. However, as I’m closing in on this elusive feat, I feel it warranted to speak to you about the illustrious triumph I seek:

1 Instagram post. 81 followers (yeah bitch, 81) who might lay eyes on said post. 0 likes.

“Impossible!” the naysayers naysay, “No one could post something so unpopular.”

Well watch me, bitchhhh.

See, I have been developing an algorithm through trial and error and self-experimentation to hone in on what makes a post unequivocally unappealing . I am prepared to share these insights. Now, as I have not yet achieved zero likes myself, I cannot guarantee my template as a fool-proof strategy for achieving ubiquitous disapproval, but I will back my methods up with examples that demonstrate I’m clearly on the right track.

Some might also ask why this is a noteworthy goal. My answer is this: I toil for the preservation of the purity of artistic expression in its highest form. The only way to ensure one has unadulterated intentions is to remove all social approval and praise from the equation. When someone generates a piece of social media content so entirely unattractive that it gets zero likes, only then can they know they have created something legitimate. Something called ART. In that instance, they are an artist in the most complete sense of both the word and the craft. The complete societal rejection of the endeavor, a “communal cockstomp” if you will, somehow firebrands the effort with a badge of untarnishable authenticity.

But we’re all busy people here on dis planet, Earffff. Not all of us have the time and resources to commit to the pursuit of failure with such dedication and zeal. That’s why I created a little guide to fast-track your descent on the popularity charts of social media. Here are my fool-proof tricks, with several real world examples included:

8 Rules for Generating Universal Unlikeability

Confuse. Be nonsensical. Make people ponder, “What the fuck is he/she talking about?” If you do this well enough, you might even make people worry about you. Logic is not your friend. Chaos is.

Ok, this profile is confusing on multiple levels. Why such a terrible photo? That name, is it slang for something? Isn’t that what Elon named his last baby? And the bio- just, absolutely disgusting… Also, look at all those open tabs! I am proud to say not even one of them is Pornhub.

Annoy. Posting annoying content often can generate the desired response of an eye-roll, headshake, or sigh, followed immediately by a flick of the thumb as your published material is quickly scrolled past, unliked-success! Nothing turns people off more than mildly annoying them. Being annoying is like being the King Arthur to the stone-wedged sword of unlikeability. If you are annoying, you can wield the fuck outta that blade and hack down any and every budding relationship or connection in sight. Annoyance is the magic key to getting people to avoid associating with you. It is like 100% DEET for friends and acquaintances alike. Have I made it clear how effective being annoying is? Am I annoying you right now? How about now?

Here, I went for the bad pun, which is totes annoying. Unfortunately, my pun was hilarious, inducing a few likes. Additionally, I forgot to account for the trauma-porn junkies that would feast on content like this like they do… a corn feast. 8 likes.
Fiduciary? Makes me think of taxes, accountants, numbers… All lame. Just fucking lame. And totally annoying. I nailed this one. Only 4 likes

Offend. This method is a slightly more dangerous technique to employ, only because controversial, offensive content can sometimes drive engagement, and that is what we’re trying to avoid. If utilizing this strategy, aim for mild offense, i.e., content that is off-putting enough to repel consumers/viewers, but not objectionable to the point of a ‘call to action’- we do not want their comments or their sustained attention. The real payoff this tactic provides is its ability to incentivize blocks, unfollows, and de-friendings. Posting offensive content can dramatically reduce your follower/friend count, resulting in significantly decreased viewership and less opportunity for likes. I personally apply this strategy extremely sparingly, as the potential risks for counterproductive boosts in popularity and attention are often too great.

No one likes a narcissistic, power-hungry slut. Also, this is a very phallic image, giving off toxic male energy. Most megalomaniacs would likely be dudes. And in 2023, men and all things r/t maleness are offensive. 3 likes.
Bringing cancer into the conversation, especially when you don’t have it yourself, is rarely a smart choice. Cancer insensitivity is one of the great offenders of our generation. People see this rude post and think something along the lines of, “This post bothers me deeply, because I have an uncle who had a mole removed once. For a minute, they thought it might be a basal cell carcinoma, but it was actually benign. He’s fine now, but I’m still reeling from the family trauma. Fuck you for stirring it up again.” 5 likes.

Confuse more.

Is a Muffaletta not a sandwich? So why is this is a photo of some trees? I don’t get it. Also, I think muff means vagina, so I’m also offended. 3 likes.
Wait, don’t like this post? Most people happily obliged, despite their confusion. A few rebellious fuckers felt the need to be contrarian. 3 likes.

Annoy again.

Oh god, what a big, long, terrible word. Annoying. 5 likes.

Inconsistency is key. Post infrequently. Be forgettable- let people un-remember that you even exist. Then come back. Then disappear again. Also, if you have a coherent theme or message to your content, ditch it like last night’s dinner after this morning’s quad espresso americano. Or did you have a cortado? Maybe a macchiato? Orrflachbiaggo? Chimachamachubichanto? Yeah bitch, I know my java. Anyhow, you do not wish to strike a harmonious tone across your posts. No, you, in pursuit of art, want to sound like a fourth grade wind ensemble attempting to play Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, all the while in the midst of a moderately intense DMT journey (Disclaimer #1: I know nothing about this piece of music, but what an annoying reference for me to make. #2: I unconditionally support all children doing buttloads of DMT).

In order to sow inconsistency, I switched my game plan here, pivoting away from utilizing singular, bougie-sounding words, and instead trying to alienate viewers with metaphysical, bohemian jargon. Unfortunately, the picture was just too damn good, resulting in several likes. Lesson learned. 6 likes.

Ignore Feedback. They say that feedback exists to be disregarded. By they, I mean me. But look, were not trying to get better. We’re not trying to improve anything. In fact, we spit in the face of betterment, we aim to do just the opposite. Know thyself. Trust thyself. Stay the course of mediocrity, of meh-ness, of ultimate triviality. We are not here to give the people what they want, we are here to create ART.

Mom would say to throttle back the body-part references..Not happening. This post also works because it delivers a visceral response to the viewer. They think, “Ewwww. That’s exactly what I imagine grandpa’s taint looks like. He def could use some taintenance.’ 5 likes.

Detect patterns. Notice what fails, and amplify it. If you notice that you published something that was wildly unremarkable, analyze it and figure out what made it so, so bad. Take the bad, and redeploy it in future content. Discard the rest. Most importantly, never forget that you’re an idiot-savant spearheading this social media campaign, so use that beautiful mind and see the patterns, Russell Crowe. Connect the dots that can’t be connected. Visualize the links that don’t exist. Anti-correlation is pro-causality. Use your confabulated data, and develop complex algorithms that generate nonsensical outputs. Take these outputs, and make ART.

2 likes. And one of them was my wife, which is a freebee. So damn close! This flop is the result of dedicated trend analysis and subsequent implementation of my identified techniques.

If you find this methodology a bit daunting, I’ve condensed the most important tactics into to a simple, repeatable two-step process known by the acronym, CACA. Like it’s literal translation, CACA is a guaranteed method to make every post going forward a shitpost:

Simply Confuse Annoy Confuse Annoy and repeat indefinitely

Now, if you’re a sweet tooth looking for some velvety, chocolatey social media obliteration, I might suggest employing CACAO: Confuse Annoy Confuse Annoy Offend. But just remember, it takes skill to offend well.

So there it is, all laid out. A masterclass on achieving abysmal social media performance. Take these tools and principles, implement them, and you will not only be aiming for, but approaching zero.

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