Thursday, March 31, 2016

the Descent of Dissoi Logoi

Before the reading by Eli Pariser and the followup lecture in class I had no knowledge of the filter bubbles sites like Facebook and Google use. That being said, I am not surprised. I think that our social media outlets should have personalization, but only to a point. Our view of the world and the pressing matters concerning it shouldn't be so different from someone else's that one person has no idea what the next is talking about when they bring up politics or crises.

While un-filtering our bubbles will start to change the way we think about dissoi logoi and the advantages of two way thinking, the filters have already taken their toll. I have become so accustomed to only seeing what I agree with, that when I see conflicting views my eyes skim over them or I am so upset that I unfollow the person. Rarely do I take the time to read into the counter opinion. The only time I read conflicting views is when it concerns something or someone I am interested in.Yesterday I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and I came across an article about Bernie Sanders (whom I support) with the caption "Why I'm not feeling the Bern". I chose to read the article and after I did, my perception of the follower who posted this changed a little bit. Another time I faced conflicting views was with one of my followers on Twitter who is stubbornly conservative. Time and time again I would have to put up with narrow minded rants and I came to the decision to unfollow him months ago. I have been happier since. I have been given the opportunity to have an "un-filtered" bubble and was still affected by the state of mind that I was subconsciously in while scrolling through social media- if you don't agree with me, why bother reading it? I would be bold enough to say that a majority of us are in a similar state of mind while Tweeting or Facebooking.

Because of the lasting affect the filter bubbles have created, we cannot solely rely on un-filtering our media to fix the problem. Our way of thinking needs to be directly addressed and publicized so that the unconscious skimming becomes conscious curiosity and open mindedness. Our search on social media needs to change from the similar and comfortable to the challenging and less travelled.

I agree with the correlation between political polarization and the decline of dissoi logoi. Dissoi logoi is all about seeing the other side of an argument and trying to come to a solution that suits both parties and helps the common good. I think that this thought process is interrupted by filter bubbles because we never see the alternative opinion, and when we do, it is so foreign to us that we cannot help but disregard it. I think that if I were more accustomed to seeing varying opinions my mind would be more open. Because we can't see a solution that isn't ours, politics drift further and further apart. Filter bubbles paired with a lack of dissoi logoi are a dangerous setting for varying political opinions. When we see something we don't like we shut it out instead of deliberating it's validity. If we want the future to have growth in dissoi logoi and a decline in radical perceptions of people different from ourselves, filter bubbles need to be lessened and our state of mind needs to be a more conscious effort.

The filter bubble that never seizes to alter the perception of our world in all of our social media outlets is a highly belittled problem that needs to be addressed by the open minded. I've decided that I'm going to try to personally address these problems by following the Twitter account @USYRCoalition -which represents Young Conservative opinions. I can only hope that I grow in my open mindedness.

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