The new Internet doesn’t just know you’re a dog; it knows your breed and wants to sell you a bowl of premium kibble.
Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble is a call to self-reflection on how we represent ourselves—consciously and unconsciously—in the digital age.
“You click on a link, which signals an interest in something, which means you’re more likely to see articles about that topic in the future.” In short: “You are what you click.”
“Personalization doesn’t capture the balance between your work self and your play self, and it can also mess with the tension between your aspirational and your current self.”
“If a self-fulfilling prophecy is a false definition of the world that through one’s actions becomes true, we’re now on the verge of self-fulfilling identities, in which the Internet’s distorted picture of us becomes who we really are.”
“We tend to believe we have full command of the facts and that the patterns we see in them are facts as well.”
But how can that be true, when personalization in the digital space means we only see what the Internet thinks we want to see?
Of course, it isn’t only corporations and governments that can manipulate and abuse this information. It’s possible for the savvy entrepreneur, blogger, activist, or other individual to turn digital media to their advantage.
“If you could find a way to load your content up so that only your content gets pulled by the stalking algorithm, then you’d have a better chance of shaping belief sets.”
“Emotional stories are the ones that generally thrive in the filter bubble.”
“Stories that aroused strong feelings—awe, anxiety, anger, happiness—were much more likely to be shared.”
“Curiosity is aroused when we’re presented with an ‘information gap.’ It’s a sensation of deprivation.”