Facebook, I partly blame you!

facebook-iconI recently posted to facebook the following:

Facebook is curating so much now that I am having a difficult time finding value with their product.

1) I have enjoyed FB for reconnecting me with a lot of people I went to High School with in Germany or other military duty stations. Some of these are lower intensity “friendships” in that we communicate infrequently, but I still enjoy knowing what is going in their lives and having the opportunity to read it. Facebook removes a lot of this information out of my feed.

2) I enjoy reading things from people who disagree with me – especially in the political arena. I know that the biggest fault in decision making is not considering alternatives. I also know that to combat the “big sort”, one must be exposed to competing views. If I just wanted only information that confirmed by beliefs, I could read any number of websites or talk to my friends who most likely share my values. To develop critical thinking and argumentation skills, one must be exposed to a lot of different things. Facebook curates a lot of this information out of my feed.

So, as Facebook curates more and more and uses algorithms to serve up only what they think I will like, I find less value in the product.

I sat down to write more about this facebook issue and how it is affecting political discourse, but I came across a news article by Caitlin Dewey in the WashingtonPost that addresses the issue better than I could.

If you use Facebook to get your news, please — for the love of democracy — read this first

About Alex Patton