One of the biggest tools consumer tech businesses use is personalization. The thinking goes, the more you present people something they like, the more they will engage with your product, the easier it is to monetize you. I understand the logic, when is it ever bad to give the customers what they want?
The logic ends once you start to think about how you personally react to all the stuff you see. Some stuff you like, some stuff you don’t. Some stuff you like but just a little. Some stuff you like on occasion or when you’re in the right mood
Seeing isn’t always liking.
Just because I read a lot about football in the fall doesn’t mean I want to read about it all year long. Many people read more about politics around the election but they aren’t that engaged for the next 2 years.
My fear is that I will encounter tons and tons of stuff that I like but not realize I’m in an echo chamber of my own making.
I love the internet because it has exposed me to more inspirational and interesting subjects than anyone can imagine, but I would never have encountered any of it if I didn’t explore— if I wasn’t exposed to New.
When we are exposed to something novel, to something we didn’t previously know, we are brought closer to the people who already knew and loved the something New. Whatever New brought us there was just a red herring for the connection people feel when they love the same thing. So it seems that when we keep engaging with the same media, it isn’t the individual who suffers, it’s the Commons.
I want more services that work to expose me to things that will make me a more well rounded person— like if stumbleupon had a point of view. A liberal arts curriculum in my pocket.