Friday, April 1, 2016

Filter Bubble

After taking the time to reflect on my own social media channels and my internet usage, I found that the idea of the "filter bubble" was very much prevalent in my life. When I looked at my Facebook feed, I found many interesting things about the type of material I was viewing. For starters, I realized that a lot of the content I was looking at that wasn't posted by my friends was related closely to my recent internet usage. I had recently been looking at shoes online and the exact pair of shoes that I had clicked on appeared on my news feed. Also, some other "suggested" content or articles that were coming up were fashion related or about shoes and clothing. Another thing I noticed about Facebook was related to information about politics. Unfortunately, I have not been keeping up with a lot of political news lately and my timeline greatly reflected that. The only politics based information I saw was funny meme's or jokes about political candidates. There were no real news based content from networks such as CNN or Fox News, but rather articles from sources like Buzzfeed. Even though I don't follow these types of news sites, my "click" history would be mainly connected to me looking at Buzzfeed articles that my friends, or friends of friends post and I click on. I was able to look at my Dad's Facebook and got to see the huge difference in information we were looking at. While I was seeing fashion and celebrity news related information, my Dad's feed was filled with politics and republican sided news stories.

I did an experiment with google search to see what kinds of results came up to see how tailored they were to myself or not. When I just did a simple search of "guns", on the first page alone there were two articles on "Women and Guns", as if they knew it was a woman who was searching for this. I also searched "voting", and there was a search result of "Nebraska Dates - My Time to Vote" and "League of Women Voters". These results were obviously tailored to me since they knew I was in Nebraska and that I am a woman. The more I actually took the time to think about how much information the internet knows about me, the more I realized how scary it is. The information that I receive on google and my social media is not unbiased and is geared to get me to see things I want to see. I feel like this could be a negative because if it is obvious that I lean one way on a particular subject, I will just keep being fed more information on the particular side I believe in. I don't think this is a good thing because its important to have information about both sides of a controversial subject so that you are informed and completely in the know about a subject, and not just believing a side because its the only side you see.

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