I Googled Egypt. I didn’t get the same results at either of Eli Pariser’s friends he mentioned in the video. I had no idea that Google results changed according to the type of computer you’re using and your location. I was always under the impression that Google was pretty standard, and that everyone got the same information. I guess I was wrong. I know Facebook does it, even though it gets on my nerves. Some of my friends have totally disappeared out of my newsfeed. But the Facebook thing doesn’t bother me as much as the Google thing does. People should get the same standard information and browse through it themselves. Eli is right, how else are you supposed to gain new information? If Google spoon feeds you what you want to hear (or what they think you want to hear), you’ll never see opposing viewpoints. Ignorance really isn’t bliss, you know.
The Internet shouldn’t be tailored to fit our tastes. It should give us the facts from every angle so that we can form our own educated opinions. I believe that the “filter bubble” exists. Web searches really aren’t a free flow of information anymore. This reminds me of the talk we watched at the very beginning of the year by Chimamanda Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story. We don’t want to limit our experience and growth because of a single story of the world. I believe that our own personal filter bubble would lead to that.
It really bothers me that I didn’t even know that Google gives us results based on certain criteria. I can understand that people want results that are relevant to them, but my main concern is getting biased results. I can also understand that people could see filter bubbles as a way to help them stay focused on their projects. But what happens when you want to be surprised, and learn something that may change your perspective? It’s something to think about.