Friday, April 1, 2016

The Filter Bubble

Do I have a filter bubble? Hmm...I would like to think no. And for the most part, I don't really think that I do. However, I was reflecting on my social media habits and I realized that I do have a bit of a filter bubble for people who post about how upset they are about some other post that is disagreement with what they believe or their opinion. 

You know who I am talking about- that uncle, aunt, grandma or radical friend who rants about his or her political or religious beliefs or posts outraged arguments against another post they disagreed with. Those are the people who drive you a little crazy and who get you this close to unfollowing them. But I never really do. But, social media outlets have made it easy to avoid these people. In fact, with the new Instagram update, you can literally turn on notifications to receive updates from people that you enjoy following and want to see what the post. Which is great in a lot of ways, but also doesn't encourage you to ever see anything that might be outside of your comfort zone or challenge your way of thinking. 

However, I think that the ability to unfollow/follow and really monitor whatever we see on our feed is a somewhat of problem with remaining open-minded and can definitely contribute to the decline of dissoi logoi if we're not careful. Meaning that, if we aren't challenging ourselves in other ways outside of social media, it can definitely be problem.

One way to engage more in dissoi logoi? For me, I don't think it has to do so much with social media. For me, it's reading news articles from a number of different news sources or taking time to read blog posts from a variety of bloggers, and even to listen to podcasts, which is something new that I've been trying to do more. I enjoy social media for fun things like following my favorite food and fashion bloggers but in regards to gaining fresh insight on political, religious or opinions? Not so much. In the end, I could care less about what my friends or family post about political or religious views. Instead, I like to engage in dissoi logoi by reading more and listening to more viewpoints. That is where I get the most benefit. And I think I'll reserve my social media for things I enjoy reading and following that get me away from those types of things. 


  1. Haley, after reading your blog post, I can't help but agree 100%. I am a strong believer in the idea that people's way of thinking is shaped by those around you. On social media, I see tons of different opinions about certain issues. Right now, politics are definitely the topic of choice.
    When thinking about the idea of dissoi logoi, it really pertains to my life in a number of ways. I live in a house with three roommates, all of which are full force Bernie Sanders supporters. For a long time, I too thought I was a Bernie Sanders supporter, just based on the ideas my roommates put into my head. After a long primary season (which still isn't over) I began to realize that I needed to gain more knowledge before I let the opinions of others decide who I thought the best candidate for President is. As it turns out, I really had no clue where any of the candidates stood on certain economic and social issues. After taking dissoi logoi into consideration, I was able to make that decision for myself.
    There are always going to be people around you that are trying to shape your opinion. It's really our choice if we want to give in and take all those opinions, or filter through them and broaden our choices. Like you said with the Instagram update, We could be getting fed what Instagram THINKS we want to see all the time, or we could chose what we want to see on our feeds ourselves. We're left with this filter bubble decision every single day. Whether we take it on or not is up to us.

  2. With the talk of filter bubbles, I feel as though many of us do not always realize or even want to think about whether or not we have a filter bubble. While diversification is encouraged in our everyday lives, I feel that it has become the norm for college students and even other adults to fall into a routine. With this, the filter bubble could ultimately be what is making the largest impact on our repetitive routines. As you mentioned, reflecting on our social media habits and determining what is important, what is not as important, and what we can ultimately changed is a topic that is not brought up as much as you think it would be. I enjoyed seeing how our filter bubbles impacted our emotions.

    As for my view of filter bubbles, I feel that it also impacts what we are being exposed to when it comes to opportunities. Emotions tie in with opportunities, but it also goes past that. With search engines on various social media websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, we are have the ability to choose what we are and are not seeing. While Facebook and Linked are incredibly different, they each serve the purpose of fulfilling a social need. As mentioned in class, we use Facebook to catch up with relatives (or should I say that one Aunt that everyone has uses Facebook to creep on us), keep in touch with friends, or even keep in contact with classmates for group projects. Along this, Facebook has even become a source for filtering out what videos we are interested in learning more about.

    While you say that Facebook may not be challenging our thinking due to our filter bubble and what we filter our feed to be, I see a different viewpoint. I feel that Facebook challenges our thinking by taking the informational video and looking at the comments. One odd think I enjoy doing on Facebook is whenever a controversial video or article is shared, one of the first things I do is go to the comments to view other’s opinions. This is where I think the filter bubble is challenged. While our feed is adhering to us, I like to see other’s conflicting opinions towards one another. While these opinions are not always positive and sometimes even questionable, it does make me view a different side that I may not have at first thought of before. Ultimately, a filter bubble is possible if you let it happen. The media has the power to control what we see, but they do not have the power to control what we think and how we will go out and see other’s opinions.