Thursday, March 31, 2016

Week 12 Blog Prompt

Reflect on your own "filter bubble." Do you often encounter opinions other than your own on your various media "feeds"? Do you follow or unfollow people based on their ideological leanings?  
Do you agree that the decline of dissoi logoi associated with internetworked media is responsible for an increase in polarization? Do you agree that this is problematic, or do you think there are some advantages to polarization? 
What are some actions you can take to engage in dissoi logoi more? Be specific.  


  1. Filter Bubbles and Dissoi Logoi

    Personally I have never unfollowed or unfriended anyone on social media based on their political stances or anything like that. However, I have unfollowed and unfriended a person who got a pet snake and began posting pictures of it all the time. I hate snakes. I jump at even the slightest picture of one and I was not about to have that happen every time I get on Facebook and Instagram. Although this is not a situation based on politics, it is fundamentally the same. I create a “filter bubble” on my social media that filters out snakes. No, I do not plan on ever widening my filter to allow snakes back into my feeds because it is different than an ideology.
    I do believe that the idea of society as a whole having our own personal “filter bubbles” has negative effects. I don’t think it has directly related to the polarization of political parties, but I do think there could be a correlation. When people are kept in protected little realms of their own beliefs, there is no progress made and absolutely no collaboration to create new ideas or respect each other’s. Our society needs collaboration and integrated ideologies to function in harmony and stay on a positive track. Because social networks are filtering our intake of political media we are unknowingly being polarized and creating a less moderate society.
    Personally, I do not have a “filter bubble”. When it comes to Facebook, I have many friends from high school who share their ideologies and I have lots of family and church friends that share posts supporting their beliefs and they are complete opposites. My political stance is somewhere in the middle of the two. I stand with most of my conservative friends, but I also share some beliefs with those people who do not have the same views as my family and church friends. I believe I have a fairly good balance of ideologies on my social networks and intake enough of each that I account for them and I do think about them. I definitely do not just block them out when scrolling.
    When it comes to dissoi logoi, I think it is extremely important to always look at both sides of a situation and take account for the fact that the side you may not agree with does have some upsides or maybe you look at it and find that it doesn’t. If you never would have looked, you never would have known and the same goes for the opposite. It could be the better way and now you can better go about what you were doing than you were before.
    More people should try to make sure that they allow for opposing opinions to be shown on their social network feeds and maybe then our society would not be so polarized.

  2. Rick Conway
    Rhetoric Media and Civic Life

    My Filter Bubble

    I must confess that I am an active participant of being a social media junkie! I’m always on Snapchat, Facebook, or/and Instagram throughout the day, my top three. The old cliché “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true in relation to Instagram when I’m scrolling through my timeline looking at different images of the people I follow and other random people; I continuously encounter other people’s opinions about sports, entertainment, music, fashion, and more significantly political views. Truthfully, I do unfollow people on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat for posting a picture that is racist towards minorities or ignorant pictures or statuses that are so disgusting that I want to react with a malevolent comment, but I ultimately chose not to as I know it would affect my ethos negatively.
    Gatekeepers have more control on people’s ideological views then people think especially when considering polarization as they are in control of the messages that get through to the audiences of mass media. Gatekeepers also shape our perceptions by deciding which issues are most important to spotlight or in other words agenda setting; telling us what to think about (233, Wood). So in a way, the gatekeepers also have an influence on our filter bubble as we depict what we want to view on our Facebook or Instagram page or Snapchat. In todays society, algorithms and our fingers controlling our iPhones and Samsung Galaxies depicts our filter bubbles with every single click, comment, or like on a social media site. “Your smooth new iPhone knows exactly where you go, whom you call, what you read; with its built-in microphone, gyroscope, and GPS, it can tell whether you’re walking or in a car or at a party” (Pariser, 9).
    I absolutely agree that the decline of dissoi logoi associated with internetworked media is responsible for an increase in polarization. Its easy to always view what we have a partisanship for in politics or favor for an any aspect. However, when individuals look at Politics on a moderate spectrum rather than too far right or too far left, change is developed positively and more democracy occurs in society in my opinion. When people don’t judge a book by its cover, but try to put themselves in somebody else’s shoes to understand their ideology it creates a union of love rather than hate. That’s what we as humans need to do more of in reality, but also on the social media as well to avoid bias or partisanship information in our filter bubbles and engage more in dissoi logoi.


  3. Fran’s Filter bubble

    Technology has not stopped evolving since it was created. Immense amounts of information are readily available at our fingertips with minimal search effort required. The processes of research and connecting with others are becoming simpler and faster than ever thanks to gatekeepers. With advanced algorithms programmed into their systems, computer gatekeepers are taking over the Internet, as we know it.
    Do you remember back in the awkward and unexplainable days of middle school? Facebook was just becoming popular amongst non-college students and reaching 1000 friends was one of the highest accomplishments for a seventh grader. As a generation we accepted and requested the friendship of every person on the site, regardless if we knew the person. Imagine how your newsfeed would look if Facebook did not develop algorithms to trim the fat of your notifications. Thousands of status updates, and newly posted pictures of people you didn’t even know you were friends with would take hours to scroll through. Not to mention how easy it would be to miss something one of your close friends posted because it was hidden amongst the random information you have no interest in seeing.
    I can speak from personal experience when I say I “un-subscribe” from people on Facebook. On the rare occasion when I encounter opinions other than my own on my newsfeed, I take matters into my own hands. These social media nuisances fit into one pretty broad category: Nudity/Profanity/Extremely Graphic and are usually weeded out within Facebook’s algorithms. Things like collages of half naked men posted by “Manioa Starr Cox” do not necessarily interest me.
    On the other hand, Facebook has done an outstanding job recognizing which videos I watch, and developing a que of related videos that might interest me. Facebook has also implemented algorithms to keep track of whose profiles or pictures I spend the most time stalking, allowing them to tailor my feed to include more coverage on those people. Although Eli Pariser does not seem to keen on the idea of filter bubbles, I am grateful for them.
    I do agree that the decline of dissoi logoi associated with internetworked media is responsible for an increase in polarization. We are obsessed with categorizing and sub categorizing everything that we are losing our ability to be a mixture of things. Its either this way or that way, not a little bit of this, a lot of that and a little bit of some of that. Growing up in an era where individualism is becoming more popular, (I’m talking about hipsters) I feel like we are trying to hold on to the things that make us different. On the contrary when society is only being exposed to certain bits and pieces of information that was selected specifically for us (before we got a chance to choose it for ourselves), I feel like we are loosing this choice to be different with out even realizing it. I think it is problematic because we are being exposed to limited amounts of information from certain types of articles or stories. This is setting invisible boundaries or even guidelines on the information we are looking for.
    To engage in dissoi Logoi I could follow Parisers lead and ask multiple people to research the same subject. I could also pick one bias opinion, and research the subject from both that opinion and the opposing opinions to put them against each other. As an example I could research abortion in a very negatively portrayed way, using words like “murder” and “innocent” to find certain types of articles on the manner. Then I could research the subject using words like “Pro-choice” and “Women’s Rights” to find completely different information that I could use in an argument with my earlier research.