According to an article from Slate.com, each time you open up Facebook, you are flooded with anywhere from 1,500 to 10,000 posts. Every photo, group post, and status you see has been tailored to your likeliness to click on it. Eli Pariser refers to this concept as personal filter bubbles, or “engines that create a unique universe of information for each of us.”
When I log in to Facebook, my feed is full of sorority formal pictures, food recipes, and dog videos (my personal favorite). I like to keep my Facebook feed cheerful so I can look forward to checking it every day. For example, I just pulled up my Facebook feed and one of the first suggestions was for a BuzzFeed quiz called “Answer These 7 Questions And We’ll Tell You If You’re More Zack Or Cody.” If 2000s Disney Channel shows aren’t fitting to my personality, I don’t know what is. (I got Zack, in case you were wondering.) My Facebook filter bubble knows what I like—like BuzzFeed quizzes—and what I don’t like. For example, I’m not a huge fan of heated political posts.
I like seeing political posts every now and then so I can stay updated on what’s going on, but I tend to get annoyed when they’re all I see. I’m a firm believer in the freedom of speech, and if Facebook is where people I’m friends with like to practice it, good for them. If people’s posts start to get a little too “in your face,” I never unfriend them. However, if their posts are extremely negative I may unfollow them on Facebook just so I don’t have a feed full of negativity.
I found the class lecture and reading on filter bubbles extremely interesting. I had no idea that Google gave different search results for different people. While I was aware Facebook has an algorithm, I didn’t know it could get so specific to each person. The evolution of the Internet has come a long way, and I’m sure we’re seeing just the beginning.