This video is a tad bit longer than I wanted and it took forty-three takes after the best one was disrupted by the local garbage trucks. Such is life! But it is a topic that I have been studying for a while now, how social media algorithms shape and reinforce our world views, and if we truly want to broaden our point of view, our perspective of the world, we have to take responsibility to bust these algorithms on our own.
In today’s environment, there is a pretty good chance that someone you thought you knew has said something or offered an opinion that knocks you completely cold. It has happened to me. The reality is, one’s opinions are shaped by their perceptions, collective experiences, their environment. If they have not walked in your shoes, they very likely may not see the world the same way you do. Whether knowingly or unconsciously, as humans, we migrate towards what we understand, what we feel most comfortable with. That is why many visit the same restaurant and order the same dish. Go out with the same people, move to neighborhoods with people that are like us. There is nothing wrong with that behavior, as long as we understand that it does create an unconscious bias, and to truly be open minded, we have to push back against and push ourselves outside our comfort zone.
When it comes to media or specifically social media, we find it easy to criticize the content, yet we have to remember that – setting paid media aside – the goal of any media is to keep us engaged as long as possible and so organically we are “served” what their algorithms predict we might like based on our behavior. What we spend more than a few seconds hovering over, what we click on, like, comment on, and share. So, the reality is, we are much more in control over what we see and hear than we realize. To expand your view of the world, you need to force yourself to seek out alternative points of view, influencers that are not currently on our radar, and bust the algorithms so you are served a wider variety of content.
This video is just my initial thoughts, punctuated by a recent experience that jolted my reality of how, as open minded as I believe I am, I was falling victim to the same “comfort zone.” I invite your feedback because this is something that I am continuing to explore and am currently writing a longer post on. And as always, I appreciate you stopping by and taking a listen!