A world constructed from the familiar is a world in which there’s nothing to learn .. (since there is) invisible auto-propaganda, indoctrinating us with our own ideas. — Eli Pariser in The Economist, 2011
We all live in a filter bubble created by the algorithms of Google, Facebook or Twitter on what kind of ideas, opinions and views we must see while we are on the internet. We are super comfortable with familiar viewpoints – the ones we say ‘totally agree’ or ‘I just thought so’ kind of things. We stick more time to platforms where we feel is giving familiar viewpoints. This traps us in a zone, we call it a bubble, created by ourselves while searching, clicking, reading, watching and engaging with content we resonate with. It closes off us from new ideas. That is why we fall easily for outrages in social media. Internet selectively assumes the content we want to see based on our past behaviour. This is shutting us from a whole new world of ideas. We don’t normally see contradicting viewpoints, putting us into intellectual isolation. If your friend who has a different view, writes a post and you don’t engage with it, you might not see his posts frequently again, as Facebook might assume you don’t find it interesting, leading us to confirmation bias.
The original purpose of the internet as a tool which expands our understanding of the world and opens the mind is undermined, it is actually shutting us into small shells of biases, views and opinions – which you are not willing to change only because it is social now! Changing opinions seen as a lack of consistency by your social friends. This is leading many of us to make our beliefs concrete than fluid.
Looking at things in a multidimensional perspective is key to intellectual growth. As each media is biased, watching all media can help to get divergent views. During election time, my father used to buy all newspapers to see how each newspaper reports an event. It is really amusing to watch that. Sometimes, if we happen to see that event we would be spellbound to see how the media reported it.
Blocking people who have extremely opposite views won’t help us. It would only shrink us as an individual.
When someone says it is a personalised service, it actually means they have assumed you to like something and dislike something else. Similarly, when Google launched personalised search – search results differ for each one of us, it only means that the search engine has judged us based on things we do on the internet.
Are we getting transformed with new learning or are we making our beliefs concrete?