Limitation of the Internet

After social media has been widely used nowadays, people tend to share opinions with the someone who has the same viewpoints online. Because people who has the similar viewpoints with you seldom reject you. This book calls this phenomenon is “friction-free.” People prefer to find someone who agree with you. This is the way that makes two persons become good friends. However, people need ideas from different aspects which can diverse a discussion. But people online tend to stay in the safe zone where only share the “right opinions.” Select what you want to listen, and deny what you don’t want to know. In my country, there is a online social media, called “PTT,” provides a space for user to discuss different topics. User can leave a thumb up or down and command down after a discussing article. Different people share different opinions. This makes some conflicts on the social media. If someone posts an article which other user disagree, the fight begins. They find the logical weakness or moral mistakes of each other and attack what have other said. And the audience’s thumbs up and down decide the direction of the discussion. People seems hardly accept other people’s opinions on that social media, the the audience choose what they want to see and what they think it’s the “right opinion.” This narrow the viewpoint range of someone. Like the book says, “The web promises to make our world bigger. But as it works now, it also narrows our exposure to ideas. We can end up in a bubble in which we hear only the ideas we already know. Or already like.”

Another thing from this chapter makes me think again about the identity online. Sometimes I post something on social media, I revise it again and again before I post it. I don’t really write what I want to say. To prevent somebody who doesn’t really close to me to know the details about me, so I write some vague and ambiguous sentences in my post. It is grotesque that I cannot write truly me on my own page. I agree with what the book says, “ ‘Crowdsourcing,’ your reading preferences, says Richards, drives you ‘to conformity and the mainstream by special pressures’.” I don’t think people show their truly self online because sometimes people are thinking in public when they post something online.

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