In such an environment, we ‘follow’ similar viewpoints, which is psychologically comfortable but creates echo chambers. And to make things worse, social media platforms feed into this narrative; their algorithms strengthening the walls of these echo chambers.
So why don’t social media platforms do anything about it?
Because their business models dictate their practices.
All of these platforms, from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube, are built with algorithms that learn about you and then show you more of what you like. As for showing you what you might not like, they choose ‘the sensational’ to get you to click, comment and share, ultimately exposing you to the most extreme counterpoints.
All in an effort to drive impressions.
Because impressions mean revenue.
Ad-based revenue models do not incentivise these platforms to foster quality, deep discussions that embrace multiple viewpoints.
Instead of making you think twice before you post, they’d rather have you post your immediate thoughts every second of every day.
Ironically, the more content we provide, the more siloed we become in our experiences in the digital society.
Almost a year ago now, we asked ourselves ”but why does everything have to have only two sides?” The answer was clear. Because:
Two sides allow for divide and conquer.
Two sides make it easy for people to manipulate others.
Two sides work for those in power, but not for the community.
Truth is we have a multitude of opinions in the world, and studies show that we are far more prone to agreeing with each other and keeping an open mind than otherwise.
Truth is we are many faceted, and therein lies our richness and our ability to compromise for solutions.
But established identities, groupings and cliques get in the way, amplified by the type of discourse popular on social media, where policy discussions give way to tribal conflicts.
We’re on a journey to build a dedicated space for discussions that guide a healthy flow of conversation where individuals can stand out with their ideas, see different viewpoints and be open to embrace new ideas.
It’s time to burst the echo chamber.