When I interviewed Jon Ronson last year he spoke about the upcoming Irish marriage equality referendum and the possibility that the impression created on social media that the referendum would pass by a landslide may be illusory. Why? Because social media is used by people from a certain demographic, and even if you follow people with contrary opinions to your own on social media they generally stay silent when they feel their opinions are unpopular.
This is easily understood when it comes to twitter, facebook, instagram etc. For example, most of the people I follow on twitter would hold similar world views to me, that’s why I followed them in the first place, they’ve said something or retweeted an article I agreed with the sentiments of. What happens then is that my social media life becomes an echo chamber of like minded opinions, so much so that I become even more convinced than ever that what I think is correct.
You may think that search engines like google give you a more democratic response to your search. You’d be wrong, as Eli Pariser explains brilliantly in this TED talk. He believes that the internet is showing us what we want to see, not what we need to see. DaveFollow @InspirePod