And personalization? Wow…
One recent example is this intriguing message that popped up on my phone telling me - oh, boy - my news is going to be SELECTED for me!! Wait, what??
…based on the “likelihood?” How the heck is some computer code going to know everything that I am interested in? I don’t even know! More so, how the heck would it know what I’m NOT interested in? I surprise myself nearly every day! This to me feels like another example of technology (in the name of time management, customer service, and convenience) taking personal control away from me. I don’t want to be “personalized” and “curated.”
Nobody can curate me! [Fist to sky!]
It’s impossible. I am a living, thinking person who is actually interested in new ideas, in growing, and evolving as the case may be. I WANT to be exposed to things outside my comfort zone. Most importantly, I NEED to be exposed to things outside my comfort zone. And if someone doesn’t WANT to be exposed, they probably NEED to be more than anyone!
It’s been long proven that people generally only listen to, read articles by, and are open to other people they think they already agree with. It’s called confirmation bias. So not being exposed to ideas that you don’t agree with (and that may, God forbid, challenge you to think of, reconsider, even debate) implies to me that we will cease evolving in our ideas and therefore, ourselves.
How can we grow as people and as a society if we don’t get nudged every now and then? Being pushed is the best thing for all of us! And, truly, it’s a lot more interesting. Without some sort of insight into the lives of others, we will just become even less tolerant and more segregated, insulated in our safe little bubbles.
A thought: if the news started personalizing me at, say, 18, I’d most likely be getting a lot of stories about pop stars, reality stars, dating tips and college tuition. Presumably, this is very different than what is important to me when I’m 28. If I’m not incidentally exposed to new topics, events, and ideas to read them, “like” them, etc., indicating to these [**bleeping**] algorithms my interest, then how could it possibly learn that I AM interested, or perhaps might be? Will my personalized news feed thereby keep me essentially frozen as an 18-year-old nitwit, or at least retard my maturity?
That’s a lot. I know.
To me, there does seem to be one major difference between curation and personalization. I think of curation as the careful selection of information on sites that I choose to go to, fully aware of its bias and limited coverage. These sites or blogs or Twitter feeds somehow speak to me, probably because I already agree with its point of view. Personalization, a type of curation, is pre-selected news that knocks on my door having already filtered the light whether I wanted it to or not. The more people depend on curation, the more important it is to DE-personalize our news feeds. If we have both, we have darkness.
- Contrary to Instagram's Statement Yesterday, Curated Feeds Are Now Live
- Is the news behaving more like advertising?
- Now to personalize the flow of information
- Personalization reaches newsrooms
- Why Curation Is Important to the Future of Journalism
- Why personalized news apps will never take off