This is a great TED (see video below) talk about how information gets tailored to Internet users and how that isn’t always the greatest thing.
I know that I don’t want tailored solutions to my Google searches. Or filtering what I peruse based on what algorithms think I want to see.
Sometimes I need to see things other than what my normal bubble consists of. In fact, if I have to be filtered at all, then I want to see only the stuff that would have been filtered out.
The takeaway from this should be that we all need to peek outside our personal bubbles in order to get a full view. Anyone that has been to niche websites and forums has seen how imbalanced some of the views seem to be.
There are people who take their own personal bubbles as the exact right view of any particular topic or event. These people aren’t even doing it on purpose.
The information trap is baited with all of the thoughts and opinions and facts that information seekers already believe. These data bits attract like data bits and repel alternative viewpoints. Such a situation does nothing to broaden our minds or challenge people.
My feedly feeds would seem to be a chaotic mash of opposing view websites and strangers that seem to have nothing in common with me. That’s exactly what it is. That’s exactly how it has to be.
I love tech. There’s no denying that. The Internet is powerful. So is a Porsche. Drive the car, don’t let the car drive you or you might end up in a Pennsylvania ditch.
Think about the folks of Wall-E‘s world. They have been fed a steady diet of exactly what they wanted. Now they are soft, unhealthy and useless. Don’t let your information filters make you soft and useless.
In the words of the venerable Dean Vernon Wormer, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
- Fighting the Filter Bubble (insideview.ie)
- How the net traps us all in our own little bubbles (girlinthearchive.wordpress.com)
- TED Talk: The Filter Bubble (ezrasf.com)