Monday, April 3, 2017

Filter Bubble by Alli Peterson

During Election season, I couldn't help but feel my blood boil every single time I opened up a social media app. Whether it was Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram, I couldn’t seem to escape the dark black hole of politics. As Election Day crept closer, and my opinions about the candidates strengthened, anything that opposed my preconceived view only seemed to frustrate my already high emotions even more. I found myself getting so angry for no apparent reason with those who disagreed with my own opinion. It wasn’t until I let my emotions of anger and frustration run to their highest point when I had an epiphany: how much about each of these candidates and their policies do I truly know? How could I let someone else’s opposing opinion frustrate me so much if I hadn’t even necessarily done the research to see if their opinions were in fact what I deemed accurate or correct?

         After my epiphany, I decided I needed to make a few changes on my social media accounts. To start off with, I needed to stop getting all my information solely from the sources whose opinion’s lined up with my own. I came to realize that I was only stunting my own growth and knowledge because I was limiting myself to seeing and reading only the things I wanted to hear. I indeed put myself in my own filter bubble that only offered me one side of the story. So, it took everything in me, but I followed accounts and users that were on the “other side”. My newsfeed was now full of stories ranging from CNN, to Fox News, to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Now the same story appeared on my timeline multiple times, but each time offering a new perspective. It amazed me how the same exact story coverage could offer such different headlines and content.

         Popping my filter bubble didn’t necessarily change my opinion on things, if anything it might have solidified my views even further. But by now being exposed to different perspectives and viewpoints, I am able to come to conclusions on my own, by looking at and considering all the facts before I form my own opinion. Being aware of my own filter bubble and taking the steps necessary to change it, allowed for me to experience a greater level of growth and knowledge. 

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