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Perspective: Check your echo chamber

Gerd Altman

2023. The year before another presidential election. As would-be candidates throw their hats into the ring, next year is promising to be a spectacle. The echo chambers of social media have pushed us into a place of deeper political polarization.

So, let’s talk about these echo chambers that we live in. Algorithms of platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok tend to show us content that they think we will like. Our likes and dislikes are determined by our previous browsing habits, the content that we tend to interact with (for example, by clicking a like button or leaving a comment), and the people that we are connected with.

If you browse Facebook frequently, you might notice something — everyone you know appears to believe exactly what you believe. But if you log into Racist Grandpa Bob’s Facebook page, you’ll probably see something different. Our social media creates a false consensus that is not representative of the community as a whole.

A professor of mine once said, “The most dangerous echo chamber is the one that you are in.” From an objective viewpoint, she’s right.

It’s important to be conscientious about the media that you consume. If our news comes from algorithms, we are fed content that is extreme and divisive.

Listen to your local news station. Read local and national newspapers. And double check any content you come across to make sure it’s from a credible source.

In a post-truth world, we must always seek reality.

I'm Nia Springer-Norris and this is my perspective.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Nia Springer-Norris moved to DeKalb in 2021 to pursue a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Journalism Studies. Nia is also a freelance journalist, editor, and communication consultant.