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The Filter Bubble Reflection

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By christinakb
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The Filter Bubble Reflection: What does it have to do with Media, Culture & Society?
After having read the filter bubble, I strongly feel enlightened in a way I never thought possible earlier. We are surrounded by media not only on just a day and night basis, but on a minute to minute or literally second to second basis. In today’s world of a constant need for information in the fastest and the most convenient ways possible, one unknowingly becomes accustomed to living in a bubble of information, ideas, knowledge, concepts, facts, news, current political affairs, entertainment etc. catered to one’s individual needs and not a holistic picture of the world that one lives in. I strongly feel that the filter bubble or in other words, the miniature world that is literally separated from the rest of the world, that unwillingly gets created for us while we perform searches about any which topic, location we mostly log on to our computers/laptops/cell phones/tablets etc from, our gender, our race, occupation, economic status, education, our political preference, our travel destinations, our social media such as Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/Pinterest/Soundcloud etc is greatly limiting us from accessing everything outside of our comfort zone and is preventing us from learning the whole, unbiased truth behind various topics we search for.
Eli Pariser does an amazing job of explaining to the masses how Google and Facebook utilize our each and every move and click on the web to tailor our future learning, cultural, political, and leisure experiences. The book depicts how with all kinds of information we search for and connections we try to maintain on social media websites, we are actually welcoming Google and Facebook to limit us from learning anything new outside of what we already know. Google being the absolute largest search engine that I lean towards quite possibly numerous times a day is showing me only what I want to see according to what I have wanted to see in the past, disconnecting me from everything else that I could have seen and deemed novel and enlightening simply because I haven’t looked for it before. Facebook only keeps me in touch with those 9 to 10 people’s pages I tend to visit on a frequent basis, again disconnecting me literally from hundreds of other friends I have managed to make simply because I do not visit their profiles as often. Google and Facebook have led us to believe that they are our link to the world in the comfort of our pajamas and convenience of our home, however what they do not explicitly state is this world is only an extremely minute and biased fragment of the big picture.
Prior to reading the filter bubble, I used to find it rather impressive that Google would already know what I am looking for with me only having typed in a few letters of something onto the search, or the fact that Facebook would know exactly what friends I like to keep myself updated on and would arrange my newsfeed accordingly. Also websites like Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist etc would direct me to exactly what I need and make suggestions for my next purchase. Even something as simple as a website called Goodreads that I often like to visit to read books would generate a list of books according to the genres I’ve read in the past and again suggest similar books to read in the future. What I am getting at is all the creativity and any opportunity for me to learn or experience something new and completely out of my element is lost due to this invisible web of location, preferences, history, behavior, etc that Google and Facebook have shackled me in with my each and every move and I may never be able to break out of it.
Ultimately, I believe that we have become prisoners of our own minds all thanks to Google and Facebook. Whether we like it or not, we are only going to find what we’ve already been looking at for years. Even the most current information and each attempt of ours to be creative will still be a tailored and filtered result according to our past searches and activity on social media websites. Unless every single one of us takes an initiative to try to break this bubble of information, this miniature ‘me’-world we live in, we would never get any closer to the ‘real world’, ‘the bigger picture’ or ‘the truth’ that we seek not only on a day and night basis, but on a minute to minute and a second to second basis.…...

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