By and large, most folks enjoy feeling special. We want to be catered to, and we like to have unique, one-of-a-kind interactions with others. Many shopping and social media platforms have picked up on this phenomenon and have designed their websites and apps to give their users a “personalized experience.” By analyzing your browsing history and search queries, groups and businesses can often deduce the kinds of things that you like, dislike, are intrigued by, or scroll past without a second thought. And with every bit of data gathered, they get a little better at only showing you things that you want to see. Sounds great, right?
In today’s video, we’ll explain the downside to this constant personalization: when we only see internet articles, social media recommendations, and news reports that cater to our biases, our beliefs tend to calcify. Instead of our worldview being shaped by the constant reception of new information or ways of thinking, we simply exist in an echo chamber that reinforces what we already think is correct. This is known as the “Filter Bubble” phenomenon.
To fight the Filter Bubble, we must make a conscious effort to seek out perspectives that we either don’t understand or don’t agree with. Yes, doing so can be unpleasant or frustrating. But it’s also an important exercise for keeping your mind open to different ideas and opinions!