How to Break Free from the Algorithms


I get stuck in content ruts. Trapped in algorithms, where I find myself consuming the same things, or very similar things, again and again online. The same Spotify playlists (even though they’re made fresh for me every day and I do love them). The same YouTube channels, featuring the same kinds of videos. Even the same Instagrams, where apparently since I like a watch blog, Instagram thinks I mostly want to see accounts that are made up entirely of watch photos…from the same angle…on the same wrist.

One radio show though has helped me break out of this rut. The Do!! You!!! Breakfast Show with Charlie Bones is a splash of cold water to the face. With a deep 80's dance/Steve Wonder vibe, it's not one of my usual go-to genres at all, and certainly not one an algorithm would serve me, but I love it.

Bones plays mostly tracks I’ve never heard but massively enjoy, and even when I don’t dig them, it’s just so goddamn refreshing not to click into Spotify and select another playlist, or skip a song.

I got keyed into the The Do!! You!!! thanks to this great Pitchfork article, which makes the case for listening to DJ's over robot playlists made from our "likes." I couldn't agree more.

What if we don’t know what we like, or want from the internet? When we rely on algorithms to serve us content we get a mirror when what we really need is a window.

Looking for human-curated music?

Here are a few of my favorite places online:

(This post originally appeared in the Hand & Eye Newsletter. You can subscribe here.)