Sunday, April 2, 2017

Filtering Bubbles

Confirmation Bias is what comes to mind when I think of filtering bubbles. Most people, when they want to affirm their beliefs will look up something with the search terms already favoring their view. It’s really difficult to be on the Internet and get unbiased or objective results. YouTube has done a great job of personalizing users searches to be tailored to their likes and interests. I love being on YouTube when I don’t have any school work to do because when I look at the related searches it looks like videos that I would really enjoy, and I typically do. Most people that I talk with don’t get a whole lot of opposition politically on Facebook. I personally don’t have this problem because I have several friends that lean both ways politically and I’m always surprised by what I see. I follow several twitter users that I disagree with politically on virtually every issue, but I like to know what the other side is talking about.
It’s vitally important that we are confronted with both sides of an issue, but if I’m YouTube or Facebook I want my websites to be as intuitive and personal to users as they can be, and by showing up more results that people are interested in is a great way to keep users attention. I don’t believe it’s on Facebook or YouTube to force people to look at material they don’t necessarily agree with, but seeing both sides of an issue are also very important to having an informed society. It does hurt our society when we just surround ourselves with people who agree with us and affirm our beliefs because then we get stuck in our own bubble with never confronting an opposing opinion. Polarization can be good when it involves team sports where you want everyone on your team to be on the same page, but polarization on every other level can be a negative attribute.
Following accounts from the opposition is a good way to open your mind up to at least attempt at hearing both sides. I've heard from several other students that in their rhetoric courses their teacher forces them to build arguments to both sides of an issue, which is brilliant. Even if you despise justifying something you disagree with at least you can become more informed and learn how to counter argue the other side because you now better understand where they are coming from.

Final point about polarization, dissoi logoi, and filter bubbles that really bothers me is people seeing politics like team sports. It's seems like if we're going to vote for a candidate then we need to defend everything that candidate does, and I think that's asinine. Just because we might like someone being a Republican or Democrat doesn't mean we have to justify all of his or her actions. We shouldn't trap ourselves in bubbles and believe everything "our" person/nominee/candidate does. We should hope they push policies that we like, and when they do, let's praise them, but when they don't, let's not find a way to justify their policy just because their on our "team". 

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