Are You In A Social Media Online Echo Chamber?
In the New Age of Social Media do we find ourselves in an Online Echo Chamber?
The debate begins. Do we find that we are influenced by what we see online, mainly social media platforms? For many or probably most of us the answer to that question is yes. But does that mean we find ourselves in an Online Echo Chamber? Do we form opinions based on where our prejudices and biases lie? Or; Are we confident that our idea is entirely based on a rational mind and that by looking at the facts, we take our stand?
The world of Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and more seem these days, to some, like Gospel truth. We see what is shown to us, consume it without a second thought and then comes the opinion. We don’t even take a minute to verify facts, we- make- it- as- it- is mentality and that’s it. Looking further and if we just took a moment, we could see that individuals with ulterior motives could propagate this.
Are we in an Online Echo Chamber?
As individuals we all have our own opinions, tastes, likes and dislikes and support our political party. Doing that is OK. But should we allow our tastes and preferences to cloud our judgment? Thinking straight will lead to the answer no. But in reality, we find ourselves in an Online Echo Chamber and by that I mean we voice or pass on info or click on articles that appeal to our tastes and preferences and then in a way propagate that same info to like-minded people.
This situation becomes like an Online Echo Chamber, our opinions pass around or bounce back to us like an echo the more we pass on the same type of info to others. Social media platforms work like that; they take what most interests you and use the same kind of thing on your feed, further propagating your same style of thinking, whether it is right or wrong. Thus we find ourselves in the never-ending cycle of an Online Echo Chamber.
Getting out of the web of an Online Echo Chamber:
An Online Echo Chamber is like a spider’s web. Once we get entangled in it, more and more we find ourselves struggling to get free and at that point too who’s to say we want to get out. We become so consumed with what we’re also listening or seeing, and that becomes right because of course, we like anything that appeals to us and matches with our sort of thinking.
This Online Echo Chamber becomes the entrapment. The internet came out as a thing that could bring the very diverse world together. It was supposed to bring about the understanding of various individuals, with different thoughts, cultures, religions, and opinions. And to some extent, it has done all this, but on the other side, it has created an Online Echo Chamber where we selectively go to sites or click on something that appeals to us and through that we find like-minded individuals. We start following people who agree with us, and thus the Online Echo Chamber begins.
Do we think to verify facts
You see something on social media, WAIT, Hold On! Don’t press that forward button. STOP! Do You Do This? Nah…. Why should I?, the forward sounds about right and it is trashing that person I “LIKE” sooo much.
Do you find your- self in such a scenario? Well, at least I do. But now after knowing about this Online Echo Chamber and the impact it can have on my life. I think I have to start verifying information passed on to me so as not to get stuck in those never-ending echo chambers.
My advice to you would be the same. Look before you leap or in this case verify facts before you forward. It might take you only a couple of minutes but that time is enough to put an end to this Echo Chamber. On the other side of this you may find that after verifying, your opinions on the matter may strengthen. Well Great. But at least you’re sure of something before you spoil someone’s name or pass on something that’s not true.
The other side of the coin:
If you look at it another way, many of us are well informed and would not believe the first thing that comes to us as a forward. We would check with someone or maybe even verified sources online before we even venture to forward something.
Some sites even show you both sides of the story, so after that, we can take an informed decision. In such cases, the Online Echo Chamber does not become such a big problem. A recent study has even shown that while there are some who (a tiny percentage) are stuck in an echo chamber the vast majority verify things before passing them on or believing anything. The study on the influence of an Online Echo Chamber goes on to elaborate the findings, saying that the researchers found that the number of people in an Online Echo Chamber is a very few and was far below what they had initially outlined.
No question of an Online Echo Chamber?
Many believe that there could be no question of an Echo Chamber, after all, they are looking at both sides of the coin, and there is a vast majority who already do this, Which may be, right.
On some sites when you check your feed, you get both sides of the story, or you may have that good friend who has a slightly different viewpoint than you, and you see what they are following and taking it from there, you get to look at all angles of that picture.
The whole concept of an Echo Chamber is that you form an opinion and share it with like- minded people but in this world, no two individuals are the same. People even if they are our friends or family also, have their ideas and viewpoints, and sometimes we listen or got to hear what they say, I’m not talking believing them, but you may have a discussion with them ( I know I have). From this viewpoint, you get both sides of the story and are well informed to take your own decisions. So looking at this argument, I would say there is no Online Echo Chamber, or it may be so small as not to matter.
At the end of this, Just putting my idea forward ( you can verify it if you want, just kidding) check things, stories, messages, memes before forwarding anything. For Which, if you are not already doing this and remember to take everything as is it comes, good or bad, no matter what everything happens for the best, Echo Chamber or No Online Echo Chamber.