How To Avoid Living In An Internet Filter Bubble

If you’re reading this, you probably live in a bubble — and you might not even know it.

In this day and age, we are surrounded by algorithms any time we go online. We see countless targeted ads a day, and many of us get our news from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These services are all driven by algorithms designed to serve us the content that is most relevant to us and our interests. However, this often prevents us from being exposed to views different than our own, this creating the aptly-named “internet filter bubble.”

In a society that is already very polarized on many issues, this filter bubble only works to reinforce this divide. Read on for four ways to help reduce your own exposure to the internet filter bubble.

1. Voice marketing

Cookies are data stored by your web browser that websites can use to determine what kind of content to show you. Make a habit of clearing your cookies often so websites have access to less data, or disable cookies altogether on your preferred browser.

2. Use an ad blocker

Targeted ads are a big part of the filter bubble. Get rid of these filtered messages by using an ad blocker — there are many free ones available, like this one for Google Chrome.

3. Go incognito or anonymous

If you’re okay stepping away from a personalized web browser experience, use your favorite browser’s incognito mode or try an anonymous browser or search engine like DuckDuckGo. By sacrificing access to search history and other useful personalization tools, you’ll keep websites from using your information to create a filter bubble.

4. Make an effort to read news from differing opinions

Possibly the most effective method to fight against the filter bubble is to get out there and educate yourself. Allsides is a great resource for this; their mission is to mitigate the filter bubble by providing viewpoints from the left, right, and center on various political issues.

Just because internet content is personalized, doesn’t mean it’s actually better. By taking the time to fight against the effects of the filter bubble, you’ll emerge a more well-rounded and educated person on the issues that matter.