The internet is a wonderful tool for research, leisure, and keeping in touch with people, from those that live near by to those that may live a world away. It allows us to share information, spread ideas, and learn from one another. Whether it be online banking, shopping, or watching cat videos on Youtube, the internet allows us to do a multitude of things. With all the information one plugs into the web, however, the question rises of how much of our lives can be found on the internet? Does the web know too much about us?

 

In 2011, Eli Pariser gave a Ted Talk on the topic of “filter bubbles.” He spoke about how search engines, and websites like Facebook take note of the links one clicks on, the sites one visits, the things one searches, and essentially everything one does while online. A “filter bubble” describes how Google and Facebook use this information to customize one’s search results, the advertisement’s one sees, and personalizes each persons experience on the web. The problem with this customization is that the internet begins showing us what it thinks we want to see, but not necessarily what we need to see. When the internet creates a “filter bubble” for us, it is limiting the amount of things we will learn and easily access on the web. On Pariser’s website, you can find tips on how to “pop” your filter bubble.

 

“Filter Bubbles” are not the only problem with the internet knowing too much; there is also the question of how much should the internet know? When does the knowledge it possesses become an invasion of privacy? It is important to be careful with what one shares on the internet. Make sure the websites one uses are valid and will not lead to the possibility of a stolen identity.

 

In today’s world, our lives have become so intertwined with the web and technology that it would be hard to imagine life without it. Only time will tell how the excess of information about our lives will impact us in the future.

 

What do you think about how much the internet knows? Let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter @whatstheisch