Avoiding Information Bubbles

I took this picture yesterday at Chapters. It’s a simple example of what’s going on in marketing.

“If you love this, you will love these.”

In the future we will only see what we want to see. It’s already happening right now. If you like a picture on Facebook, Facebooks algorithm will send you similar pictures down your timeline based on others likes.

As a consumer you’re happy because you get to see what you want to see. As a marketers you’re happy because you get to target consumers more specifically. And Facebook is happy because they get users to spend more time on it’s platform charging marketers more.

The problem with this as a consumer is that you end up in a distorted world secluded in your own bubble. You think vegetarianism is the answer because all you are sent is information (usually in the form of stories) to solidify your views on vegetarianism.

Wether we like it or not our views are very malleable. The danger starts when companies, politicians or just about anyone with an interest in influencing you in the wrong direction are now able to do so deceivingly.

This is a major reason Trump became president. He hired Cambridge Analytics who analyzed all the cultural data in order to place the right stories to the right audience at the right time. That’s marketing in a nutshell.

The only way to counter information bubbles is to actively search for contradicting information.

For example: If you only believe in vegetarianism, read a few books and websites on Paleo or vice versa.

Then you will have an informed judgment.

Neil Gaiman once wrote:

“There’s no such thing as bad books”

And I’m a firm believer in that. There’s a ton of bad books out there that speak lies but even a bad books are worth reading to get to the truth.

Only choosing to listen to stories that validate what you already know doesn’t allow you to grow. So keep an open mind and dive into the contradictions even if it’s against your views.

Also published on Medium.

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