It is the age of information.
We can easily find out details of almost anything we want to know about.
We are also easily bombarded with things we may not want to know about.
Huge tech companies gather information about us, almost enough for them to build a profile of our likes, dislikes, habits, political views.
After learning about Cambridge Analytica obtaining user data and using it to influence the USA’s presidential election, I wonder if the information shown to me on various social media platforms, news platforms, were tailored to influence me towards a certain path.
Even though I believe myself to be neutral, always maintaining a neutral position and try to examine things on both sides of the coin, I know for a fact that anyone and everyone, including myself, will always be biased against something no matter what.
And to get someone to be biased against something is very easy.
If I know a person is against a political party, I would subtly show him articles or stories that confirms his beliefs, further boosting his bias-ness.
Or show him a different set of articles and stories, that would contradict his beliefs till he questions them, under the holy guise of “you should examine things from both sides of the coin”.
It is the age of misinformation.
I came across a guy who would always talk about the things going on in a forum that he frequently visits. He is easily influenced by the majority of users in that forum. He’s being shaped by that forum.
I had a chat with a woman about Donald Trump winning the presidential election. I suggested that it was a “good thing” and was quickly told about a subreddit dedicated to the “bad things” that he has done. Other conversations with her often contain a reference to reddit. I believe she’s being shaped by that subreddit.
And all we need is a character with enough influence in either platforms to reshape their thoughts.
The internet has a strange way of changing a person’s views.
And I think the only way to protect myself is to question everything and take it with a pinch of salt.
Instead of relying on social media for entertainment, I would instead rely on video games, books, comics for it.
Video games, science fiction novels, comics, have really good stories and I would rather let these forms of entertainment shape me instead of social media.