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Ben Pechey

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Filter Bubble Syndrome...

April 21, 2017

 

Welcome back dear reader. Today I want to talk about Filter bubble syndrome, something you may not have heard of, but probably something you potentially suffer from. It’s not something that makes you ill, so there is no need to worry, but it is definitely something to consider.

 

A Filter Bubble is the result of an algorithmic program choosing what it is that you see, most commonly on social medias and google. An algorithm works by using past search history, previous clicks, previous likes and comment history to tailor what it is you see and interact with.

 

Thus when someone is suffering from Filter Bubble Syndrome, they are trapped by their own cultural and ideological bubbles. This means people can feel safe and sheltered, but also it can mean that people -like us- are less aware and closed off from the rest of the world. 

 

The man behind the term and author of The Filter Bubble, Eli Pariser suggests that “a world contrasted from the familiar is a world in which there’s nothing to learn”. It is clear that only seeing things which we like and accept can make us a little naive of the world in which we live in.

 

A good example of this is Instagram - which has been completely changed due to algorithms- where if you don’t like 2-3 pictures of someone you follow, you will start seeing less of their pictures, and eventually you won’t see them at all. It seems very reductive for a computer code to stop showing us something just because we didn’t like it yesterday. 

 

Some people may argue that the effect of Filter Bubble Syndrome is minimal and any negatives are cancelled out by the positives. However I don’t want my experience of the world (via the internet) to be limited by what I have liked before, I want to have the freedom to see more and to have my eyes opened. 

 

Something that an algorithm may deem unsuitable for me based on my previous searches may be the thing that inspires me to make a positive change in my life. I understand why we need algorithms but, sometimes it would be better if we didn’t. 

 

I think it is clear here that we rely on the internet a little bit too much and now it is taking liberties. Perhaps if we all looked up a bit more (I am so guilty for spending way too much time on my phone so I count myself in this) we would see more than we ever did before. 

 

One of my closest friends doesn’t have Instagram, or twitter and never really looks at her Facebook, she has a much more positive attitude to life and sees inspiration wherever she looks, this is an attitude we should all adopt.

 

Don’t for one minute consider that I am suggesting we all chuck our phones away and go off grid- GOD NO I want people to read my blog !! However, maybe we should all try to broaden our horizons a little, look up a bit more and try to burst our own filter bubbles… 

Shot by the brilliant Instagramless Claudia Palčova

 

What I'm Wearing

Shirt: ASOS

Jeans: DIY

Shoes: Vans, Similar

Sunglasses: Gucci, Similar 

Watch: Michael Kors

 

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