This weekend we finished watching the Netflix original: Social Dilemma. Oof. It was powerful. I find its argument compelling and extremely cautionary, however I wonder if all people would derive value from it. I’m curious if those deepest within their own echo chamber, after watching it, would throw their fists in the air and shout unironically at those that oppose their views “see! wake up sheeple! Everyone ELSE needs to pay attention to this” Are any of us even remotely aware of the bubbles we live in?
I’d like to think I am. But I bet everyone thinks that.
In response to watching it, I deleted my Facebook account and downloaded a chrome extension that removes YouTube recommendations. I’m happy with these adjustments. But my biggest weakness is Reddit and Google news. These are my primary news sources. How do I clean this up?
Does anyone have any recommendations on how to get bland, boring, unbiased, news? Honestly, a newspaper would probably be smarter – but the convenience of digital media is that it’s free, quick, and easy. Three things that old fashion media is not. I frequent fivethirtyeight.com which I feel confident in, but that’s mostly politics and sports. Where do I find out basic life stuff and socially relevant content? Vaccine updates, social concerns, pop news? I think this is still relevant, but how can someone remove the manipulation from news sources?
I’m mostly stumped on this. Recommendations welcome.
6 thoughts on “The Social Dilemma”
Well you are certainly asking a million dollar question.
As far as “old media,” yes print is dying, but that doesn’t mean all of the sources are too. Everything is or has moved to digital delivery.
At the end of the day paying for your news is likely the best option for getting what your looking for. It might mean paying more than one source too. Supporting a local or regional news source is well worth it. They will cover events and issues that national sources won’t. It could be argued that local issues will be more impactful anyway. To round everything out a big news source will give you the other categories your looking for.
The cost is pretty reasonable in the grand scheme of things.
I think you’re probably right, especially with your multiple source comment. In the end, finding at least two or three sources would likely be the wisest approach. There’s a website allsides.com which rates media outlets on their bias – trying to find a centrist, center-right, and center-left might be the ideal.
Suggest looking into international news sources. The BBC is generally accepted as being reasonably non-skewed, from what I have seen.
Good recommendation. Until I figure out a long term print media solution, I’m going to add the BBC into my normal internet news routine.
Maybe it’s a knee jerk reaction but is it really necessary to drop reddit and similar “pop news aggregation” sites cold turkey? I remember watching “Super Size Me” back in the day but that doesn’t mean I don’t stop into a McDonald’s every now and then and have a McChicken (or 27). What’s wrong with critically thinking for yourself and doing your own research on the free news? Even the “news” you are paying for or is supported by donations is being curated to fit someone’s theme or agenda. I still listen to the Marketplace podcast (APM) which operates on donations and advertisers and it’s very clear (at least to me) which side they lean. At the end of the day, whether it is free or paid for, as long as you are doing your own critical thinking and not just drinking the kool-aid and blindly nodding your head in agreement to whatever is being presented to you I think you will be ok.
Good thoughts for sure, and yes I think it doesn’t take too much effort to be aware of blatant bias but… I respect that I’m not perfect in my analysis. The blatant stuff is obvious, but I’m sure that I’m caught by some of the more subtle stuff. Generally speaking, if I can find news sources that are more neutral then I’m less likely to fall victim to propaganda because there’s less of it.
I don’t foresee myself giving up reddit, but I’d like to use that exclusively for pop content like cat videos instead of world news or political content.