Friday, April 1, 2016

Thoughts On The Internet and Information Exposure : The "Filter Bubble"

 The "Filter bubble" is not a new thing, although it has become more  problematic this passing year. The internet has had filtered information for at least a few years. I noticed that when I moved to Lincoln and I was living with three other girls. We all came from different backgrounds and studied different fields in the University. When we would have a question about something and we would google it, we would get different results about the very same thing that we googled, and that was three years ago. We started noticing the difference in our results and experimented with it a few times. On some topics we would get similar or same results and others we would get very different results. We found out that if it was something to do with "girly"things, such as make up, hair or clothes we would get more similar results and information, but when it came to religion and politics we would get different results, and I think that it was due to the ethnicity and religious differences between us. 

After understanding how the interned distributed information I lost faith in the internet exposing me to specific information that I was not exposed to and did not fit the criteria of "information that would interest me". I do agree that it can be harmful to our society and certain groups of people because all of the information is not distributed evenly to all of the population. However, I feel that it is our responsibility to seek information and not expect information to seek us. I can see why it would be upsetting to find out that there is information that has been removed from "your universe of information" and whatever is making it into your bubble has been tailored to you based on what you show interest in. It is no different from other areas of our lives though. We build the person that we become and we build the life that we live and I believe that in a smaller scale we build our "information bubble" on the internet. Who we become is very much dependent on who we have around and where we live.

I believe that the internet and more specifically google, Facebook, and Twitter have gained more trust from us then what they deserve. The reason why the "gatekeepers" feel the need to edit what makes it to us and what doesn't it's because we have become too dependent on them for information and the excessive amount of data on the web. Our local, national, and international news should never come from one place, it should come from different channels and different places. We will only practice Dissoi Logoi if we go out of our way to be exposed to different sides of an issue even if it means it is uncomfortable. Watch different news channels that have different views on issues so you are exposed to it all. When you need to research a topic depend more on well researched academic journals with credible sources, books, speak to people that study that topic,and go out of your way to find what you need to know.

It is our duty to ourselves to constantly search for what interests us and what is important to us, and to find different paths to get to what we need to know in order to grow and become the best version of ourselves. Since the new "gatekeepers" do not think like a human would, we can not place trust on them to understand what is truly important to us, only we know what is important to us and only we can feed ourselves the right information and have a well balanced diet of information.

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