Filter Bubble: Burst The Bubble, Improve Your Experience
What is a Filter Bubble?
The term ‘filter bubble’ (a.k.a. Information Bubble a.k.a. Data Silo a.k.a. Click Cluster) isn’t new. In 2009, Google personalized browsing results to provide users with a more enjoyable experience. That doesn’t sound very threatening, right? The digital world is all about curated content, personalized experiences, and preferences. As a result, a lot of websites and content online are increasingly tailoring themselves to their viewers and users desires. Such sites are feeding users news and information according to the clicks the user generates. Past browsing activity determines new information the user will be exposed to in the future. Without much awareness of how the media is being presented to them, consumers are vulnerable to the trap of filter bubbles. In other words, consumers are looping in their own infomania universe, where they’re fed information from the same few handfuls of categories over and over again.
The Underlying Danger of Filter Bubbles
Filter bubbles are dangerous because they’re invisible. Consumers don’t get access to the algorithms that dictates which bubbles they get lumped in. Consumers can make minor adjustments here and there, like snoozing a friend on a social media feed, visiting the ads page of most platforms’ Settings to add or remove interests, and updating location tracking features to be more private. Sadly, most people have no idea the minor adjustments even exist. As a result, consumers tend to end up in bubbles that deny them the diversity of the real world. Bill Gates once criticized information bubbles for limiting our intellectual development and isolating people into groups, rather than bringing us together. “One thing that’s new that is a little concerning is people seeking out things that are really not giving them the facts, and then staying in there,” Gates says. “They’re playing to a narrow worldview—that is a concern.”
How to Avoid Filter Bubbles?
Behind the curtain of our personalized online experiences, internet giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft collecting heaps of personal data profiting from the knowledge data provides. The more personalized experience is, the more personal information a company knows. Awareness is the first step to fight filter bubbles. The second step is to take action and make use of the minor data tracking adjustments that most platforms now have. The third step is to opt for standard online experiences more frequently than personalized. Don’t let just any brand get personal. There are a handful of ways to go about this: choose a web browser that blocks trackers, use private search engines, sign-up for a VPN service and encrypt online crumb trails. To learn more about how to improve your internet security: click here.
Take Back Control & Burst the Bubble
How can we realize when the information we read online has become polarized? How can we make a judgment call when we don’t have control over how the world appears to us? It’s time to burst the bubble and say goodbye to the alienated, echoing digital world. It’s time to find balance.