Filterbubbles are typically created by that invisible hand – AI and algorithms.
These filterbubbles seldom encourage curiosity or acceptance to new ideas or perspectives. They can even be misused for propaganda. But they are very comfortable as they do not challenge your mind or habits. It takes energy to open your mind to another mindset or knowledge.
Adding Instead Of Replacing
To save good values and humanity, it is necessary to add new mind-sets and build upon what we already know. Adding is better than replacing and unlearning.
Exposing your mind to another culture or mindset can be very enriching. Some of us are open and look out for these opportunities, while others prefer to stay in their comfort zone. Social skills are often a learning process, not necessarily just a talent.
Short Tweets Must Be Substantiated
When Internet was new, we hoped that it would enrich humanity by enabling us to move across borders, cultures, geography and provide an endless source of worldwide knowledge.
Unfortunately, it seems that the invisible hand with filterbubbles and comfort zones took control over our dreams and hopes. And I would argue that this has lead to dehumanization, demonization and polarization. Short one-liners on Twitter without the necessary elaboration amplifies the polarizing effect.
Demonization Leads To Polarization
Dehumanization and demonization occurs when we stay in front of our screens and devices. Demonization’s breeding ground is distance and tech. The best way to fight demonization is to meet people IRL, engage in conversations and to exchange views, ideas and opinions face-to-face. It fosters compassion and understanding.
We don’t need to agree. Consensus is not the goal. But we need to see our opponents, hear their voices and reasons to better understand that the world is larger than ourselves.
Decisionmakers Are Isolated From Grassroot Reality
Compartmentalization also describe how people are intentionally isolated from eachother.
Typically, politicians are isolated from ordinary citizens and the grassroot reality. Politicians tend to isolate themselves, and staff surrounding them assist in filtering the messages. Think of all the press secretaries working with the brand values of the politician instead of ensuring the mission he or she was elected to serve.
When politicians are comfortably isolated from citizens, there are very few opportunities to voice critique, witness accounts and independent facts. Thus, the bubbles increase in size and scale which also lead to demonization and polarization – sometimes very intentionally.
Some Values Are Non-Negotiable
These days, families and children spend their time and attention on screens instead of people. Children grow up with a device and virtual games as a best friend, spending more time with them than with friends and family.
Children learn the distance, not the dialogues.
Moreover, the business-minded person is eager to teach people to negotiate, to compromise and assign a price tag to everything. Combined with tech, this attitude attacks good values.
Because some human values – and human rights – are absolute and non-negotiable.
So how do we teach our children good values, social skills and compassion? How do we avoid destructive filterbubbles, comfort zones, dehumanization, demonization and polarization?