Blog Post 3
Eli Pariser, the author of The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think said “Your computer monitor is a kind a one-way mirror, reflecting your own interests while algorithmic observers watch what you click.” when discussing filter bubbles. This made me begin examining my own filter bubble and what I see in the mirror.
I don’t often encounter different opinions than mine, and I figured it was because I was a political staffer. Many of my friends on social media are liberal campaign staffers so I always feel that my social media is more of political panel than cat pictures. So I think since I already have so many people who agree with me on facebook from work that without algorithms involved, I would already be in a filter bubble. It also probably doesn’t help that I have liked pages like Senator Elizabeth Warren’s and the Young Democrats of America, and other pages very similar.
I have had to unfollow or unfriend or even block people because of their ideological leanings. It wouldn’t be because someone was a fan of Trump or Bernie, rather if they had antipathy or were disrespectful in their beliefs. However I do follow people like Adam Parkhomenko because I like his insight on liberal politics, and obviously because of work I follow many campaigns on both sides.
Personally in my opinion it is hard to say why we see the polarization we see today. Do I think the internet and media are the sole reason for it today? No. Do I think they played a part in it? Yes. When you have Fox News and MSNBC promoting this antipathy it’s nothing but a slap in a face to our country and democracy as a whole. I’m the son of a Conservative father and a Liberal mother. Though I lean liberal I’ve been able to date a conservative for over a year and find more common ground in regard to politics than the actual elected officials. I think the media and these filter bubbles really help increase the polarization, but I would argue that special interests and elected officials are more to blame for today’s polarization.
I have said it time and time again that this polarization we are facing in our political climate is one of today’s greatest threats. From the City Council to the Legislature to Congress when you are solely for or against something because it’s the opposite side of the other party, you are only doing a disservice to your country. We need to get back to a time where we can sit down and discuss our differences and work out a compromise.
Some ways I engage in dissoi/logoi is just by hearing other people out. Just like how there are reasons I come to certain conclusions, I want to hear what made other people come to other decisions. Sometimes I will be persuades, other times I won’t be. I talk to my dad, my grandma, my girlfriend, and some of my lifelong friends to understand why they are conservative on certain issues. Sometimes we agree and others times we don’t. I do the same being a moderate Democrat, I like to talk to some individuals who consider themselves far left. I have a friend who is a liberal that I disagree with more than some of my moderate conservative friends. Regardless it’s important to understand why people are coming from where they come from. It has shaped me into the person I am today.