Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nazi Bubbles

The lack of dissoi logoi in today's world is a result of many influential factors which ultimately polarizes countless aspects of our daily lives. Companies spend large sums of money every year to create advertisements used to sway an individual's opinion about the specific topic. Car companies, political campaigns, even social media use targeting advertisements to encourage an individual to use a product or vote for a certain candidate because the other options are inferior. How people interpret and respond to these advertisements depends on both their personal filter bubble and the company's filter bubble. People hear what they want to hear and companies tell what they want to be told.

I personally have a very strict filter bubble that I constantly work towards reducing. Most of my opinions about aspects of life are very similar, if not identical to my parents'. Whether it be politics, religion, or which product to buy, my opinions have been skewed by my upbringing. I constantly encounter opinions other than my own on media feeds and unfortunately I ignore most of those opinions without giving it much thought. Many of my good friends are of the opposing political party than me which has helped me become less polarized, however I still skip past most social media posts related to the opposite political party. I grew up watching the news with my dad on a daily basis and rarely watch news broadcasts that are considered to be of the opposite end of the political spectrum. There isn't a particular reason as to why I watch the news broadcasts that I do other than the fact that I'm comfortable watching the ones that I do and I can easily relate to news anchors on those broadcasts.

While I have my own ideological leanings, I do not follow or unfollow people based on their ideological leanings. I like to listen to what others have to say and try to stay open minded when hearing another individual's opinion. I believe that everybody has the right to their own opinion and a simple disagreement in ideological leanings should not result in completely ignoring each other. In my senior year world affairs class, I was required to find a news article about an event that happened in a foreign country over the weekend and write a report on it. In order to keep my reports as unbiased as possible, I used BBC's news reports for all of my information. Fox news tends to report on news from a conservative standpoint while MSNBC and CNN tend to report on news from a liberal standpoint. By using BBC's articles, my information lessened the degree to which my paper was right wing/left wing biased.

I would definitely agree that the decline of dissoi logoi associated with internetworked media is responsible for an increase in polarization. People listen to what they want to hear and the media has picked up on that. Conservative news stations only broadcast what Republicans want to hear. Could you imagine what would happen if Fox News anchors were preaching liberal ideals and idolizing left winged politicians? This doesn't happen because both the media and the viewers have strict filter bubbles that prevent hearing both sides of an opinion. I believe that this decline of dissoi logoi isn't currently an issue but it has the potential to causing serious problems.

 Many people in the United States have opinions that are not easily changed, especially when related to politics. Many republicans would refuse to watch MSNBC if Fox News was on and likewise, many democrats would refuse to watch Fox News if MSNBC was available. The source of news that people in the United States receive hardly ever changes due to polarization. It is my belief that the more polarized people become, the less communication between people of opposing opinions and ultimately hatred. I believe that this is partly what happened in Nazi Germany.

Adolf Hitler rose to power by blaming German economic hardships on the Jewish individuals and spread that message through his book, Mein Kampf. Hitler was arguably one of the best public speakers in the 20th century and he used that power to gain many followers. The German people that believed Hitler were so polarized to Nazism that they refused to listen to the cries of help coming from the Jewish population, which was being slaughtered by the millions. A lack of dissoi logoi in Germany at that time resulted in millions of innocent people being tortured and murdered. The filter bubble that Nazi leaders put on the people of Germany at that time prevented opposing opinions from being brought to light. Had modern media been available at that time, I believe the genocide that resulted from WWII would have never have escalated to the level that it did.

The past is available for us to learn from mistakes and make decisions based on the past. With the genocide that resulted from Nazi polarization, today's generation should learn from what happened and engage in dissoi logoi more frequently. Unfortunately, that is not the result that internetworked media is having on the world today and hopefully the increase in polarization evens out or even decreases.

No comments:

Post a Comment