Social Media Filter Bubbles

If you present someone with factual evidence that discredits their tribal beliefs, it will often have the opposite effect of actually strengthening their beliefs. And in this modern era of talking points, buzzwords, and hashtags it’s becoming increasingly easy to quickly identify someone who’s in your tribe and someone who’s not.

If we spend enough time with our tribe, we’re also likely to experience something called Group polarization.  It is the tendency for a group to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclination of its members. And because more and more people get their news and information today from social media platforms like Facebook, we’re far more likely to only be exposed to ideas that reinforce our tribal beliefs.

Some of this may be a result of Facebook’s algorithms. An effect which is known as the filter bubble. But it’s also due to who we decide to be friends with and our natural tendency to seek news from sources that support our worldview. So looking back at this chart is this the result of a profound deological divide, or two tribes retreating deeper into their own camps?What seems to be clear is that our primitive brains can’t seem to catch up to modern technology feeding us confirmation biasing content.

There were definitely times in America’s past that were ideologically divided, and this isn’t as bad as some of those times,but it’s still it is still cause for concern.

Democracy functions by people with different beliefs coming together and making compromises and finding common ground. That’s how society progresses and we if we can’t even talk to each other then there’s no way we’re going to be able to do that. Government isn’t going to be able to function and we’re just going to be angry and resentful.

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