From conventional media to the personal bubble
Over the last three decades, we’ve seen a decline in quality of information diffused in media as monopolistic conglomerates in democratic and non-democratic nations grew bigger. The old adage “if it’s been on the news, then it must be true” is today synonym of extreme naivety and today’s television and conventional press are at worst a mechanism of control by dominating social forces and at best mindless entertainment (reality shows!) and sensationalism. In most cases, they’re both!
Rede Globo in Brazil not only it dominates all the media channels, but also it utilizes this diversity to self-feed: the news on one channel serve the main purpose of advertising mind numbing content on another. British tabloids, Fox News and CNN are other examples alike.
It is not surprising that as soon as the Internet became grounds for exchange of verifiable content, the intellectual elite and Generation Y has massively fled from conventional media. After all, the internet is a model of free exchange of ideas and information, right?
In a riveting 9-minute TED talk, Eli Pariser talks about the dangers of filter bubbles.
Instead of having to go through the trouble of tossing away your least favourite section of the newspaper, with the Internet we don’t even receive it. We’ve reached the ultra-customization era in which hidden algorithms at Google, Facebook and other iNews agencies will filter without any ethics what is relevant to you (mostly driven by number of clicks).
The problem with that is that you will only receive “more of the same” and the choice of content exclusion is not at your hands anymore. You won’t be able to react to relevant issues outside your bubble due to your utter ignorance of its own existence.
This is a particular danger for Generation Y and the ones to follow. Due to the evident reduction of face-to-face interactions in their lifestyle , the daily exchange of challenging, uncomfortable and diverse content is diminished even more by the filter bubble.
In light of this phenomenon, the free exchange of diverse interests and points of views becomes an essential part of intergenerational cohesion and an important key to ensure successful teamwork.
What solutions do you see to fight the negative effects of filter bubbles?
What conditions does your company create to stimulate exchange of non-work related subjects at work?