Did you know that without any input from you, the internet you see is being filtered according to preferences that you may not even be fully conscious of? From Facebook to Google, to news sites and shopping, the world that you view through your computer might be very different from that of the person next to you. How do you think this might reinforce certain beliefs and understanding of issues around you? If you are receiving continual reinforcement of your opinions, do you think it might be harder to change them? If you’re missing information that could alter how you view a situation or a circumstance, do you think it might be difficult to make unbiased decisions? Truth is subjective, but what if you’re only getting one side’s version of it?
The video above is a TED talk that discusses these internet “bubbles” that are being created around our virtual lives and interactions. If you have 10 minutes, it’s very eye opening and not at all boring, I promise (although I suppose that’s subjective as well). Then come back and let me know whether you think this could contribute to the difficulties that arise from online discussions. When someone just can’t seem to wrap their head around a certain view point, is it possible that everything they get their opinion from is working against your own opinion? This isn’t to say that one is right or wrong, but that we are missing out on the necessary connections that come from full acknowledgement of the flipside. Are we being driven further apart by internet personalization?