The Spoonfed Information Generation
It is somewhat ironic that I found this article by the famous Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan whilst flicking through my Facebook stream, given that it is primarily about how, far from being proactive on social media, we are mostly passively eating whatever Google and Facebook decide to feed us. This is based on our likes, hearts, comments, shares etc. It’s not rocket science and it’s easy to see how it’s evolved this way.
Once upon a time we would ‘surf the net’ and come across stuff we liked, there was more text, there were fewer social media platforms, there were a few image led sites. The internet was a way to find information, yes you had to look quite hard but that was part of the novelty. When I began my personal blog in 2007 it was still relatively easy to gain readers. Just by writing. It gave a whole raft of ‘mummy bloggers’ a sense of power and a probably exaggerated sense of our own writing quality. But it was fun.
For a while. Then it just became a bun fight; a beauty competition, a popularity contest, a bit disingenuous frankly. People created Facebook pages for their blogs. I didn’t.
But what started to happen at the same time was that the information we saw on our Twitter and Facebook feeds became more interesting to us. Granted this is a bit obvious at times. Over the election I shared one or two articles from The Guardian, but after that I was inundated with other articles of the same content or type. My friends were telling me to shut up. I was never political before, how had this happened? Ah yes, it was the social media election wasn’t it?
Anyway. Have a read of this article if you feel inclined. It is important to keep doing what we want to do on the internet, it is valid that we have our own opinions and we seek out information rather than blindly suck up whatever the biggest social platform tells us to based on what we liked yesterday. Otherwise the internet is no longer democratic and we as people are no longer evolving our knowledge, because let’s face it when was the last time any of us when to a library to look something up in a book?