Polarization

Globalization brings us all closer, and the internet is one of the main “highways” that allow this. Letting us talk to anyone, anywhere in the world instantaneously. One could think that this would show each and every one of us many, varied perspectives on all the topics in the world, small or big, difficult or easy, and it did, and still does so… on paper.

Today’s society feels more and more polarizing. Whether it be politics, movies or anything in between, you are either for it or against it. Donald Trump is one example. Everybody seems to be either for everything he says, or entirely against it. There is no one that agrees on some topics and disagrees on others, at least not publicly. Because if you agree on one thing, you have to agree on everything. However, this is obviously not true, but it seems like it. This might be because of the internets “echo chambers”.

Each and every one of us has our own personalized “bubble” of the internet, filled only with things that we agree on. All the major companies like Facebook, YouTube and Google have algorithms that use data about what you have previously watched, liked, searched for, and so on, and shows you more of that. This seems great, but creates the effect of also removing everything you don’t like, and opinions that you do not agree with as well. This conditions us to only seeing opinions from like-minded people, giving us the pleasure of never being challenged in any way. And when we inevitably get challenged, we don’t know what to do. That person instantly becomes the “enemy”, even though they might agree with you on many different subjects.

Globalization brings the world closer, but also divides us. Now a days we might have to actively seek out people of differing opinions to reverse the effects of the “echo chambers”. Having to actively seek out conflict might seem contradictory if we want to reduce polarization, but small conflicts might be what we need to avoid large scale conflict.

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