Friday, April 1, 2016

My Filter Bubble and the Broader Consequences

  • Throughout this course, we have been discussing our media-laden social culture. Our society’s obsession with social media has many different effects, and one of them is the loosening grasp of dissoi loggoi. For many college students like myself, a lot of the communication we engage in happens over a screen, either on social media or through texting and emails.  This has a profound effect on our ability to filter information. If we don’t want to hear about something it can be very easily avoided. For example, I have a friend who is constantly posting on Facebook about very extreme topics-I would categorize her posts into a genre which I decided to name ‘extreme man hating feminist posts’. I find this information to be overbearing, and not something that I want to look at, because I strongly disagree with what she posts. So I simply un-followed her. Problem solved. We were still ‘friends’, and she’ll never know that I did this. I don’t have to think about my thoughts in relation to her perspective on certain matters. Many people do this with their online lives.

  •             However, I feel that this may have a very detrimental effect on our ability to see things from another perspective-which is a very crucial skill to have. Dissoi loggoi is a concept, which essentially means looking at an argument from both, or all, sides. Doing that allows one to a grasp a fuller meaning of the issue or issues at hand. I believe that the loss of such a skill will lead to polarization of issues. If people are only seeing their beliefs reiterated time and time again. I do not believe this is healthy for society, and agree with Aristotle and his concept of the Golden Mean-moderation is always key.
                I know that broadening my ‘filter bubble’ is something I personally need to work on , and it is a problem that I see around me. I hope to engage in dissoi loggoi more often, by coming up with create ways to force myself to think about the other side of an argument, idea, or perspective. I will challenge myself to explore other ideologies and values and find the gray are between what I believe is right and wrong. 

    Elizabeth Woltemath

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