Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My personal filter bubble

As I rely on Facebook to get most of my news I have actually noticed my news have been skewed towards my political and social views, which have always been pretty liberal my whole life. I believe in things like universal health care and free college tuition among other left ideas. I grew up in predominantly liberal part of Illinois for 17 years with many like-minded friends and family so a large group of my Facebook friends post and comment with similar views.
While I do get a lot of liberal news in my news feed and searches, I also get a lot of opposing views from the many friends I have made during my years in college. I have gone to two colleges in primarily republican cities within consistently red states. I also have been in a fraternity at both those schools, which also tends to have a handful of members that lean right. Surprisingly, I hadn't really realized that the only time I hear about their opinions is when I get into a debate with one of them on one of my posts until I understood the concept of a filter bubble. The only real time that I filter through my Facebook friends based on their political and social views is when I do not truly know the individual or I never speak to them anymore.
With understanding how the filter bubble is affecting my life, I also understand the point that Eli Pariser is trying to make in his article titled The Filter Bubble. In it he discusses how his generation saw the internet from the beginning of its existence and initially had the idea that it would bring the world together and make us a stronger, more connected nation. Instead, I feel we as a nation haven’t been so divided by political parties since the Civil War and the filter bubble isn’t helping. With a constant barrage of biased right or left wing news being fed to people who already feel so strongly that their opinion is right, there is no room for persuasion because everybody is so closed minded. Even before the internet existed, some 221 years ago, the first president of the United States said “One of the expedients of party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts.” Even George Washington tried to warn us about fake news being used to mess with the truth in order to influence supporters. That is the exact method that Donald Trump and his political team were able to persuade millions of Americans to vote for him. We as a nation need to realize that now more than ever is the time for us to come together as a nation and work to oversee the issues going on around us in a more productive way
Prasier, E. The user is the Content

George Washington: "Farewell Address," September 19, 1796. Online by Gerhard Peters  and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=65539.

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