Never before have we been fed more bias information and it’s not just the fault of news media.
Despite living in a 24-hour news cycle world, we are all getting most of our news from social media. How much of this is actually true? and how much of it is skewed towards our existing point of view?
We like and follow people and associations that we admire and respect, creating a social network of potentially like-minded people and organisations. There’s nothing wrong with that right? Well… this means that we are only presented with news and ideas that already align with our own way of thinking. We can edit our feeds so precisely that we may never again be presented with a challenging idea or alternate opinion.
Now we can even filter which news organisations we wish to receive news from. Surely that’s not a problem right! If you only get your news from an extreme left or extreme right news source then you will not be presented with an opposing point of view. How will you ever learn about other points of view, or how your ideas affect other people? We learn so much by being challenged. We even learn by arguing (respectfully) with others. We could, after all, be wrong or sitting on the wrong side of an argument. It’s not until we are presented with new ideas that we can see both sides and only then we can make an informed decision.
We are spiralling out into small silos of communication, only hearing our own point of view fed back to us and only speaking to people who agree with us. This reinforces dangerous ideas and is a terrifying side effect of social media. This phenomenon is in part responsible for the rise of previously isolated and maligned groups, like the recent public display of white supremacy in the US.
This is one time when more information is not necessarily better. We need to worry more about the quality of the information, news and opinions we are deciding to digest and accept. Think about how biased your news and social media feeds are… are you even allowing yourself to be challenged?