How to escape from ECHO CHAMBER
YOU’RE TRAPPED! : 3 ways in escaping an echo-chamber
“Have you ever felt like the word ‘exactly!’ pops up into your mind when you see posts on social media?”
“Have you ever wondered why you are surrounded by people who shared the same opinion and mindset?”
‘ the echo chamber is an environment where a person only encounters information or opinions that reflect and reinforce their own’.referring to the Oxford dictionary
In other words, it is the situation that you found only opinions or viewpoints that agree and support your bias. The echo chamber can occur both in real life and especially on online platforms because of the algorithms and ability to link to information sources. The consequence is echo chambers can lead to misinformation and misunderstandings because of how such platforms will store incorrect information such as personal perspectives and rumours that will lead to the false confirmation of your particular biases.
How did you know that you are in the echo chamber?
some of you may do not know whether or not you are in the echo chamber environment. Here we have the evaluation for you! click it right the way!
0-3 : you are in the diverse of media environment
4-5 : you have some diverse of information and some filtered information
6-8 : you are trap!! now you are in the echo chamber
How did you end up in the echo camber?
To be able to answer this question we must be able to identify the particular factors that are not only involved but are the variables that create an echo chamber. To not get ahead of ourselves, l et’s start with a factor that is relatable and easily comprehensible. Social Media algorithm….
- One-step flow (stealthy technology)
The technology that helps to collect information by tracking individual behavior and preference, to provide the information that they want to see. The stealthy technology now adopted by all new media since it helps them to be able to keep their audience with their platform longer. In the past, the media tried to know what the majority wanted but right now, when there is media convergence, audiences spend less time on each platform, therefore each platform uses stealthy technology to keep their audience with them. But one effect that is inevitable for stealthy technology is “Echo chamber”. When the audience is only surrounded by their preference, they will automatically think that this is the idea of the majority. To them, that information seems to be more reliable since it is believed and supported by most people. In the end, the only voice that they heard is the echo of themselves.
- Filter Bubble (from search engines/ social media)
The main reason that leads to echo chambers, or we can call the filter bubble effect where we find ourselves in a filter bubble any time is only surrounded by views and opinions we agree with. It can be seen that each bubble depends on the ‘digital lifestyle’ since some platforms offer personalized content based on our searching history, gender, age, location, and lifestyles. Since whatever you search on your search engine it will pop up to your feed instantly. Therefore, all the contents that you see in your feed or your timeline have been already selected by algorithms. This effect can create also the mass impact on the audience since all the content that we have seen is the content that we love to see or we choose to see in the first place, therefore, it creates cognitive biases and some bad perspectives toward the contents that we disagree with.
Moreover, we will think that all the people think the same way or have the same opinion with us towards any information since the algorithm is only selecting and filtering the same ideas of content and display to us ex. The perspective of politics which leads to misunderstanding. Moreover, the contents that we see are the same and boring, we have less chance to get out of the bubble. On the contrary, the filter bubble effect helps the producers with online marketing which the advertising can penetrate the target groups, by sponsoring the advertisement to a various platform depends on the target group as you can see the product that you have searched will totally pop up to your feed with the store that can provide that for you.
- Social Media algorithm (how do social media algorithms work?)
used in social media to deliver content to the user and to determine the content to show you based on your interest. For instance, Instagram thinks that you want to see a post based on past content you’ve viewed or like. How does the social media algorithm relate to the echo chamber? According to three key factors determine the ranking of interesting posts, recently, and relationship. It can be seen that if the users you’ve interacted with most in terms of comments, likes, and messages, their content will always appear higher in your feed. And it’s because social media algorithms understand the consumer and they provide the engagement of people in social media based on the content that they’re interested in. All in all, many people now depend on social media algorithms to be informed and to keep up-to-date on news and events but it’s inevitable that the content already selected thus the users can miss some content that they genuinely want to see.
- Active audience and Selective- consumption
Nowadays, audiences are no longer passive audiences like the past that they will consume whatever the traditional media provides for them, right now audiences are active audiences, Since they change their consumption behavior into selective consumption which is the behavior that they will select the information that they consume based on their concern. People misunderstood that the ability to access technology makes them consume diverse information. On the contrary, they did not realize that whenever they search on search engines they will search only what they are interested in and want to know. Or even while they scrolling down Facebook or Twitter feed, they will take disagree content for granted. All of these phenomena proved that people consume only information that they selected to consume. These behaviors directly lead to Echo-Chamber. Since audiences only surrounded by the content that they selected, to speak when they created their own media environment, it is the way they locked themselves up in the inescapable echo-chamber.
The solution to escape from the Echo chamber.
1. Realize that you surrounded by echo chamber
When you use media nowadays, they normally depict content for you. Contents presented to you are usually based on what you have searched, seen or liked, and also people you follow. Therefore, you might see only contents that are related to you and probably think that most people have the same opinions as you. You see them every day and would have an adherence that this is what everybody sees too. Finally, you will be in an echo chamber without realizing it.
There are several ways to escape from echo chambers, but one of the most effective ways is to recognize that there are people who have different opinions to you. For example, you and your friends on Twitter like the same political party. Hence, all of you seem to share, retweet, or interact with the same type of post on the media. While you and your friends on Facebook do not like the same party. Posts with different opinions will be shown to you, and that will be when you realize that you were in an echo chamber.
2. Using media literacy while consuming media, and realise that all of the information has filtered by the algorithm.
The most important thing that you should bear in mind is all the information that you saw while surfing on social media is selected and screened by the algorithm of each online platform already. The social network is not a public space where all information can flow equally. There is a big company that controls what content you see by using algorithms for company interest such as commercials interest.
For example, in 2020 Facebook will prioritize the contents displayed on a user’s news feed based on how likely users are to react to each post. Moreover, the majority of friends on Facebook are the people who have real-life connections and share the same profile as the user, such as education level and background knowledge leading to the echo chamber environment.
Hence, if the users have enough media literacy and are aware of the algorithm of each platform, what is the content that the system wants to show on your feeds, It will have more possibility to bring you out of the box and see the new world outside.
3. Engage other views
At the end of the day to escape a never-ending loop of information in the echo chamber, you must be opened. This refers to all aspects whether it may be in terms of opening up to alternative platforms in consuming media, being mentally open-minded, and being aware of our own biases.
Being open-minded may be the most simple method yet it may be the most effective. People nowadays may have become accustomed to the state of mind where the content in media will support and reinforce their idea; being open-minded may already be an idea that is hard to do. To be able to escape the loop you must become a sponge that is willing to absorb information that comes your way and have the media logic in verifying the truth or underlying idea.
In terms of alternative platforms that people nowadays chose to become a part of are usually most popular ones, ones that have the most users. This is the result of the fact that humans are social animals, we want to be a part of whatever society that is most occupied at the time, to be most in the circulation. We must venture out into alternative platforms to receive a vast spectrum and variety of information. By doing so you will be exposed to new and fresh content that may challenge or disagree with your prior opinions.
Last but not least, being able to identify whether you are being biased at the moment or not, to not further reinforce the echoing effect of the chamber. If you are able to identify and pinpoint when you are exercising such biases try to refrain first and evaluate whether it is the only choice at the time.
Finally, when people be able to escape from echo chamber, they will truely experience the world. Most of the time people misunderstood that to access to technology, make them access to diversity. But if they still stuck in Echo chamber they could never reach out to diversity of information. Ultimately, to escape from echo chamber, help people to access to diverse information and perceived it with open mind and make them become well-rounded person.