Monday, April 3, 2017

The Filter Bubble and The Death of Debate

The Filter bubble is a fascinating thing. On one hand it is useful in a time where we have so much information being shot at us at once, that sometimes it is nice to see the things that we know we would want to see. Yet on the other hand it is bad to become so self biased to our own opinions. Before reading this article I had no idea that news articles and posts on social media sites were filtered to appeal to me. Personally when it comes to my social media presence I see a variety of different opinions and articles. That is just due to the fact that I am not a very political person so when I see someone post about something political, I do not read or even click on the article, I simply just scroll pass. Yet because I do this I still see tons of political opinions and articles everyday, I just choose to not let my opinion on the internet be seen. Mt friends on the other hand all seem to have one side they lean to whether they are right or left winged, and they all seem to get along. My friends and I are very big into the topic of debate, so we don't let viewpoints and opinions tear us apart, yet I can tell just from the debates we have that this filter bubble is all too real. According to The Filter Bubble article by Eli Pariser, that Facebook is becoming the world's primary news source, with 36 percent of Americans getting their news from Facebook daily. With the filter bubble in place, if Facebook does become the new main news source, the articles are tailored to us making all the news we see a bit biased to our own opinions. I have seen this in the debates I have with my friends, when a political standpoint is brought up, too many times have my friends referred to articles they had read literally that day on Facebook. Yet, while me and my friends all share mutual friends, most of my friends have another article to counter the other's opinion with, but they will never have heard of the first article themselves.

This shows that not only is the filter bubble real, but why the debates that I have with my friends are a dying thing to see. While I have personally never unfriended someone on Facebook due to a political belief, I know many who have. When I asked my friend if they had seen that a person we went to high school with was engaged he had not only told me no, but went on to mention how he had deleted her off all social media accounts. When I had asked why he mentioned how she kept bringing up the caption "Make America Great Again", on all her photos, and my friend being the very left wing man he is, could no longer view her opinions. This showed me two things, that the more we dive into our own world of technology, we forget how to be civil of other people's opinions, and that if my friend unfriended a girl, just because of a Donald Trump slogan, then Facebook would be sure to show my friend more and more left wing posts everyday. The filter bubble is useful in my opinion when it comes to advertising, because let's face it, why not have a machine know what and why I would want to by something, but personalized news needs to stop. We are no longer a culture that has debates and civil conversations about politics. We have become so absorbed in our own opinionated viewpoints, that every other opinion we hear we say is wrong without even giving the argument a chance to blossom. It is okay to get our news from Facebook once in a while, but we should still go to other means to get information, and learn to once again to discuss opposite opinions once again with our fellow man.

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