My scrolling activity looks very similar each day. I open Instagram with muscle memory, even though it is in a separate folder,(The goal was to have more time to find the app and decide if I really want to scroll) I can find it with closed eyes. After I find my app I look at my friends’ stories, look through DMs, and then proceed to watch reels. It is an already established routine, which I very much enjoy as I know I will find funny videos or inspiring stories that will bring me endorphins. However, from time to time I have times of realisation where I think how huge and how horizon-expanding the Internet can be, and I feel that I’m not using its all potential. Yet, after all, I still end up stuck in my scrolling routine, which results in shutting down from Internet possibilities even more.
The scrolling routine does not only result in our conscious choice of picking social media from other sites on the internet, therefore isolating ourselves from potentially different types of content, it isolates us even more from a wider perspective as by consuming our everyday media we are unconsciously feeding our filter bubble. The term coined by internet activist Eli Pariser means:
The intellectual isolation that can occur when websites make use of algorithms to selectively assume the information a user would want to see, and then give information to the user according to this assumption.1
The filter bubble’s danger lies in the potential of isolating oneself from information that the person wouldn’t necessarily reach for, therefore resulting in the potential of getting stuck in a personal universe witch eventually alters the way we encounter ideas and information – it can create an illusion that everyone has similar opinions and perspectives.
Pariser writes:Personalization filters serve a kind of invisible autopropaganda, indoctrinating us with our own ideas, amplifying our desire for things that are familiar and leaving us oblivious to the dangers lurking in the dark territory of the unknown.
But with that in mind what is there to do, not to be stuck in our own bubble?
How to get out of the bubble?
Fortunately, it is not difficult to escape the bubble, one only needs to want to do it
- The first way to do that can be by deleting or blocking browser cookies, although it sounds very harmless and delicious if we accept all of them, they determine what content to show us. Sabina wrote about it more extensively in her blog.
- The other method can be maybe a bit more challenging but worth a trying- switching from some of your typical social media, which can be mostly entertaining to educating sites you would not normally visit but would interest you. The magazines you never explored or channels, to make use of the width of the Internet!
- Finally, following pages or news that provide a wide spectrum of opinion! Media that claim to have ‘unbiased’ views are the NY Times, Atlantic, or Wall Street Journal- however, they are considered leftist journals, for a balance of opinions it is worth looking at CNN, or FOX considered most biased, but it is worth to look at them to formulate an opinion 2.
It is easier said than done, but it is worth considering those options in order to be better informed, or at least to remember that although the Internet is huge, we explore only a small part of it, missing other perspective.
- https://www.techopedia.com/definition/28556/filter-bubble ↩︎
- https://www.quora.com/What-are-a-good-variety-of-news-sources-one-should-read-to-have-a-broad-spectrum-of-opinions-and-negate-bias ↩︎