Does social media diversify our exposure or are we siloed through algorithms and self-selection?
No one’s really sure. Interestingly enough, this meta-analysis found that studies using digital trace data found evidence of echo chambers, while self-report based studies found no evidence. The truth is likely somewhere in-between.
So while we may or may not be in echo chambers, we all benefit from putting more intention behind the variety + quality of the content we consume. After all, who cares if you’re hearing multiple perspectives if they all stem from manipulative, low quality sources. And how does the variety you consume serve your inner growth + goals?
This article reminds us of the importance of not just passively taking in whatever information finds its way to your screen. A more nourishing relationship with the internet means thinking more intentionally about your optimal content balance.
- Pick one of your go-to- platforms for information. Select something that showcases different sources. Maybe it’s TikTok. Maybe it’s Apple News.
- As you scroll through ask yourself: How diverse are the voices and narratives I’m exposed to here? How intentional is my assortment? Would I consider any of these low-quality?
- Work to create a more well-rounded assortment, by removing sources that negatively contribute to your own biases. Add new high-quality sources to broaden your perspective.
READ FULL PAPER: Echo Chambers on Social Media: A Systematic Review of the Literature
“Articles finding clear evidence of echo chambers were all based on digital trace data, while those finding no evidence were all based on self-reported data.”
“While social media use can sometimes positively contribute to – and at other times impede – democratic deliberation and plurality, there is a need to acknowledge the fact that this is far from being a binary issue.”
JOURNAL: Review of Communication Research
- Ludovic Terren, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain
- Rosa Borge, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain
COMPETING INTERESTS: None stated or referenced