Like me doing ASMR, or those 30-yarders of mine.
Remember them? No, ok, well anyway, that’s why we love it.
But how does it work and who or what decides what we see?
One of the biggest factors are these here algorithms.
Algorithms work behind the scenes, like the kitman or club chef, on our favourite sites and apps. They use data from what we watch, search, like and buy online to find patterns in what we enjoy, so they can show us more stuff we’ll like. The Bullard highlight reel from 2005/6 is a good watch… for example.
Because we all have different interests, a lot of what we see online is tailored specifically to us. Everyone’s personalised feeds look a bit different.
These recommendations are quality when you’re watching a run of my top bins, but it’s not so great when you start seeing just one side of the story - what some people describe as an echo chamber.
What’s the big deal? Well, if an algorithm suggests the same stories, from the same people, again and again, it can distort our understanding of the world. We become surrounded by stories and opinions we agree with, while opposing perspectives get blocked out. It’s like Ronaldo vs Messi, but only hearing arguments from one side, over and over.
It makes spotting fake news harder, and it’s easier to be tricked by misinformation. It can affect what you think, the decisions you make and what you believe.
So, if you notice you’re hearing the same thing again, and again, and again, or you find yourself in more uncomfortable parts of the internet.
Take control, search something new.
Well sometimes weird is fun (like Jimmy attempting ASMR…), but sometimes algorithms can recommend videos that only show one side of the story. This makes it harder to spot fake news and you can stop hearing a balanced opinion.
If you feel like you’re hearing the same thing again and again, or you find yourself in darker parts of the internet it’s time to take control of your search.
Take a look at these resources.