Thursday, May 5, 2016
The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser
In other words, this book is about our virtual lives. Currently, our Google search results, our Facebook feeds, and now our Instagram feeds, are all personalised to what the algorithms think we want. And while this is good in some ways, there are downsides to this as well.
For one, it tends to create an echo chamber. Don't like someone's stance on something? Facebook will notice, and after a while, you won't see that anymore. It might seem nice, but how are we supposed to walk the metaphorical mile in someone other's shoes if we can't even see their shoes?
Another thing would be the tendency for the algorithms to give us what we want instead of what we need (in terms of news). Unless we're highly engaged with the world and make a deliberate effort to seek other points of view, we might end up with a newsfeed that ignores major events in favour of Hollywood gossip because that's what we click on. Obviously, this can be detrimental to our ability to listen to other viewpoints. It may even affect our creativity.
If you're interested in social media and how the Internet can change you, you should give this book a read. It's easy to read, with little to no jargon, but it talks about a very important aspect of the Internet that not many of us consider.