Personalizing Your News
By Suzanne Cruz
One of the recent trending features of the smartphone is the ability to “personalize” your news. Here is how it works, if you like MSNBC, you can make sure that first thing in the morning, that is what you see, one side of the story.
“Echo chamber” was a term coined after “The Hillary” lost the election.
All news outlets had created their own “echo chambers” by only interviewing people, and reading polls with which supported the narrative, “Hillary will win”. These “news outlets” did a great disservice to the public as well as to themselves by not seeking the whole story.
Journalists telling people what they want to hear instead of the truth is nothing new. In 1931 journalist Walter Duranty was given a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on rumors of famine caused by Russia in the Ukraine during the beginning stages of their collectivism efforts.
“There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from disease due to malnutrition… conditions are bad. But there is no famine.” However, there was mass starvation, The Ukrainian Holodomor was the manmade famine/genocide where up to 30,000 people died a day, one- third of them children. In other words, Walter lied.
Personalizing one’s news is willful blindness and insulates a person from all the facts, like, perhaps, how awesome Donald Trump might really be doing. Beyond just the news, creating a habit of insulating oneself from all the facts can have devastating effects on every aspect of one’s life. For example, imagine what your world would be like if you only had half the information on mortgage rates, relationships, pets, where to live or a job you’re interested in. The practice of seeking only the information you want creates a cognitive bias with really bad results.
Save personalizing things for an ice cream Sunday and not the news.