Book Review : The Filter Bubble

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This is the first book I finally finished reading on Kindle. Once you are on vacation with a 2 year old, it is near to impossible to finish your task without the little one trying to do exactly what you do. So, i read this book for 2 minutes, 5 minutes or 30 minutes – whenever, wherever possible.

Despite all my vacation duties and other routine activities, what made me read this book through is relevance. I’m not a Facebook addict, but I check it everyday unless i do not have internet connection. My web browser is Google, and Gmail is my primary email. When book explores what they do to my online life – it has to be a worthy read.

The author has high command on the subject, and he manages to get the exact picture in front of us. The filter bubble is the term coined by Eli Pariser, and as he rightly says – change happens in unknown, unexpected encounters and situations. If a 3rd party company tries to decide what you are, what you like and then dictate your online world – it’s pretty dangerous. And on top of this, if the marketing executives know your entire shopping history, the best way and time to persuade you, and they know you more than you? Ridiculous. Personalization – It’s a unevitable evil in every one’s life but to let your life dictated by it is simply not acceptable.

Eli Pariser is clear on what he says –  The Age of Internet is expected to solve most important problems of this century, rather than being a platform for sharing cute kid photos. Of course you can do that too – but at least  the important issues should not get sidelined. Whoever is in charge (Read Google, Facebook) have to act as modern curators and not like a 20-year old kids with no moral responsibilities. In the end, what you click is used to decide who you are. So, the end user – why not click on varied topics, rather than the stupid news feed with silly stuff Facebook shows you on the front page?

I’m thoroughly educated after reading the book. Having admitted that I’m still long way to go in understanding the important issues of my time despite spending enormous amounts on the Internet – I begin to see why. It’s time to pop my filter bubble.

If you are interested in watching the ted video, here it is :

Also, you can do these 10 things to make sure personalization doesn’t make the world too familiar to you:

If you get the book, do give a read. I’d rate it 8/10, and everyone using Facebook and Google must read the book. If not take action, at least educating yourself doesn’t do harm, does it?

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Author: Saraswathi Pulluru

Aham Bhrahmasmi.

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