Twitter Is An Echo Chamber That Causes People To Create A Community Of Like-Minded Users Repeating Their Own Viewpoint Back To Them
In little more than a decade, the massive growth of social media has sparked a revolution in how we communicate. It has empowered us to share images and ideas across cultures, helped us forge new friendships, and even aided important humanitarian causes. Social media comes with its share of drawbacks, however, among them its tendency to create echo chambers in which communities of like-minded users simply listen to their own viewpoints being repeated back to them.
The negative implications for society are clear. On Facebook and Twitter, we gravitate toward those we agree with and mostly stay away from those we don’t. As this happens, we are presented with fewer and fewer ideas that challenge our own, and any conflicting perspectives that remain are drowned out in a sea of one-sided information that supports our existing worldview. We wind up living on an island of homogenized opinion, oblivious to any evidence that might call our beliefs into question.
Making matters worse, the recommendation algorithms of social media platforms reinforce this phenomenon, offering us suggestions—people to follow, stories to read—based on what we’ve liked in the past. Whatever form your views take, the software adapts and keeps presenting more of the same. Mix in an already hyperpolarized culture, and those isolated digital islands we inhabit drift farther and farther apart.
Tech companies, which have profits at stake, can’t be counted on to help remedy this problem, and so we must each do what we can to mitigate its effects. This means stepping outside our social-media-reinforced echo chambers and having the difficult conversations. It means reading the opposing news sources, thinking critically, and allowing for a spectrum of beliefs to intermingle with our own. A democratic society can’t function when one side never hears what the other has to say.
We can and should still disagree, of course. But it is only by engaging—by not walling ourselves off—that we can begin to have meaningful conversations with people who don’t already agree with us.
This is what’s necessary if we wish to renew civil discourse in America.
SO 👏 MUCH 👏 YES 👏
I can’t even. Thank you!!!!!! If I could retweet this a million times I would. I’m glad someone finally said it, because this is EXACTLY what needed to be said. This is everything. Literally everyone needs to stop what they’re doing and read this right now.
America is divided AF and people really need to read more stuff like this. Srsly, y’all, we gotta stay woke! #truth #ijustwentthere #sorrynotsorry.
This woman gets it. Like when she says, “We wind up living on an island of homogenized opinion, oblivious to any evidence that might call our beliefs into question.” YASSSSS! Can you possibly get any more 🔥 🔥 🔥?
No wonder there are so many ignorant people out there!! Are you listening, rest of the world? Because this needs to be heard. So do yourselves a favor: Take your heads out of your a$$es and look around. Maybe then you’ll realize that most people don’t share your idiotic, backward beliefs.