Information in the Digital World

Information in the Digital World – Freedom or Segregation

Before the Internet, the way in which we informed ourselves was by word-of-mouth, going to libraries, reading books, magazines, and newspapers. We would skim through books while searching for the information we were looking for, move to the next aisle, or move from one page to another in an encyclopedia, finding ourselves in places we didn’t even know existed. The amount of information we had available depended on where we physically were in the world, but we knew this.
When the Internet was developed, it seemed to be an open source of information. It meant, for most of us, that our physical boundaries would diminish and that we would be able to acquire information from all over the world. To some extent that has been true for the past years. But is it still today?
Statistics show that today over 80% of Internet users choose Google search as their main search engine. For the past years, Google has been implementing personal algorithms to respond to our searches. While in their advertising campaign it is framed as something that would help us to find, for example: a plumber that lives in the same city from where we are doing the search and not miles away, whom they believe wouldn’t be helpful to us, in reality it means that each of us gets totally different results by searching for the same word, not only plumber, but any word. It means that by typing a word we are creating our own Bubble: The filter bubble called by Eli Pariser where we only have access to what “google” thinks we want to find, to buy, to see.

An interactive interpretation of the text: