Politics, religion, lifestyle, OS, pets and even things as silly as a jam brand: we all have our own opinions, beliefs and preferences.
And that’s perfectly fine, as this is what makes us who we are.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that, to a certain extent, we all suffer from what we call confirmation bias.
According to Wikipedia, confirmation bias is:
the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.
In his BRILLIANT — we can hardly stress that enough — article for Quartz, Tobias Rose-Stockwell not only supports that social media broke American democracy: he unveils the information mechanisms that influence the way we think and reinforce our confirmation biases.
Or, as he puts it:
I believe that the way we consume information has literally changed the kind of people we are.
In this long read, you will learn about:
- The major difference between how we used to get news vs. how we get news now.
- What the Filter Bubble is.
- Why our brains cannot distinguish between “big” numbers and “huge” numbers.
- The importance of facts.
- How we — as individuals, social media, companies and, to a degree, social media managers — can counterbalance confirmation bias.
Yes, this article is mainly about politics: but the underlying principles described by the author go far beyond the scope of an election and actually apply to many situations, on a daily basis.
It may be our confirmation bias speaking, but we really believe this article is worth reading 😉