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April 5 , 6
How digital media intensifies our prejudices
  by Beren Tofino


Dystopian themes in stories like The Matrix, Inception and Ready Player One portray the struggle between facing the real world and embracing a comforting illusion. Some characters don’t know that they’re trapped in an artificial dream, while others knowingly choose fantasy over reality.

  In our digital age, this danger doesn’t just exist in fiction. Whether we realize it or not, we’re all becoming trapped in “filter bubbles” – invisible, mental cages built from our prejudices and desire for comfort.

  We create this trap by doing things like exposing ourselves to politically-biased news and entertainment or surrounding ourselves with like-minded friends. Digital algorithms enhance our problem by learning what we like and filling our social media with opinion-affirming content. The result is a personalized daily environment that filters out contrary points of view.

  We become fooled into believing that our opinions about complex issues are unquestionable. Meanwhile, the filter bubbles of those who disagree with us deceive them in the same way. This distorted view of reality weakens our thinking, strains our relationships and polarizes our societies. How can two people have a respectful, open-minded discussion when they both believe that only a stupid or dishonest person would disagree with them?


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