I covered a lot of ground in my last post on social media (from stats, to filter bubbles, to collecting). If you missed it, check back here or just brush up on the information anyways. If you’ve been with me from the start my final post on social media will summarize what I have covered thus far, but will mainly focus on filter bubbles and ask the question as to whether we are at risk.
Now, how do you feel about the information that has been spread before you thus far? It’s easy to get caught up in the world of social media, and it becomes increasingly frightening when you actually look at the statistics of how much it is/has impacted our world, but what’s the real deal on social media? The way I look at it is like this:
Instinct to Collect (among other reasons) —-> Social Media —-> Filter Bubbles Form —->
I’ll explain more.
We spend massive amounts of time on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), or maybe that’s pushing it a little so I’ll rephrase that. Some of us spend massive amounts of time on social media sites (ahem, me for example), but one of the reasons we do this is because of our natural instinct to collect, according to Jill Rettberg‘s book, Blogging. A great example of a collector’s social media site is Pinterest, due to its categorical set-up, but Facebook and Twitter are in the collector’s group too, and it becomes all at our fingertips, just like this.
However, one of the problem’s we are facing with social media, collecting, and the like is that of filter bubbles, which I also covered earlier in an older post so let’s just summarize a tad. Filter bubbles are a selective state of information being provided to you, based on information about the user. There is even a book on it, by Eli Pariser, and a video below. Take a look inside the book first here.
The main issue with filter bubbles is that we will no longer be provided information about everything, but will be provided with information that only suits us, so most likely a shielding of the bad or unpleasant information, and a sharing of the good or pleasant information. The reality is, “there is a kind of shift in how information is flowing online, and it’s invisible,” according to Pariser. We will be living in a world that doesn’t even exist. Take a look below.
This unfortunately becomes something that is hard to be aware of when Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. are so easily at our fingertips. Bored between classes? Facebook mobile app consumes the majority of my 20-minute wait. But am I really seeing everything on Facebook or is it being filtered down to only the things Facebook believes I am interested in? This is scary, and as I think about what Pariser has said about the shift being invisible, it becomes difficult to think of what we can do to combat something that is visually not even there. Am I living in my own filter bubble? The truth is, most likely I am, we are, you are, and the world knows it.
For example, DuckDuckGo wants to be your new primary search engine to combat against the spread of filter bubbles. They have constructed a search engine that is actually made to keep you away from the filter bubbling of the internet and out of your own filter bubble. You can sign up at dontbubble.us or just check out their proposal.
What do you think about filter bubbling, social media, collecting, and everything else I have covered in the last couple days? Are we at risk? Feel free to comment, share ideas, or start a discussion.