Let’s talk about a standard daily experience –
You’re sitting on the train after a long day at university or work, it’s finally time to wind down and almost mindlessly before you realise what you’re doing you’re scrolling through Facebook…
Maybe that’s even how you got onto this blog?
As you scroll, you stop for a second and just think –
“Wow, my news feed is full of trash”
Another video of someone trying to complete the Keki challenge,
“Tag a friend and they owe you 5 shots unless they reply in 5 minutes”,
Another nonsense article about Kylie Jenner’s big birthday bash and Tammy Hembrow,
“The new Bachelor, Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummings has a new girl to pursue”.
The content presented to us isn’t random, it is carefully curated and distributed by the very platforms that we’re using.
Unfortunately the more trash that we click on, the more that will be presented to us.
It’s a vicious self-fulfilling prophecy, eventually if we’re not diligently aware we can get stuck within the confines of our own mental walls.
This phenomenon has a name –
Filter Bubbles: A state of intellectual isolation that can result from personalised searches when a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to based on information about the user including location, past click-behaviour and search history.
I remember the time I started a youtube binge watching a video on how cryptocurrency investing works and ended up deep in the depths of youtube watching a man who ran in a zorb ball across the ocean between 2 countries (True story -)
Even worse than the time that we waste or the silly youtube videos we may encounter, there are more concerning ramifications for being stuck within these filter bubbles.
Once we have spent enough time on the internet –
Our phone becomes, as Eli Pariser describes “A one-way mirror, reflecting only your own interests”.
If these online channels are our only inputs for news and information, we run the risk of getting indoctrinated with a very narrow sphere of information.
If we’re constantly inundated with just 1 way of thinking, how will we be able to open the breadth of our thoughts?
We run the risk of being stuck in our very own mental hamster wheels, running around and around to the same tune. Validating all that we know with that old word that everyone knows but tries to avoid – confirmation bias.
With so much choice and opportunity surrounding us there’s no need for us to settle with what is instantly presented to us
My aim for this year is to do more and see more. Speak to more people, read more books, explore further into ideas and not take everything at face value.
We live in the information age, where everything is right on the end of our fingertips…
… we have the opportunity to truly explore everything that we hear or read yet often we don’t.
We have the power to – it’s time to escape the bubble.
If you recognise a time you’ve been caught in a filter bubble or have any other thoughts. Please join the conversation and let me know!
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