How Social Media Algorithms Keep You Addicted

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Joseph Rippo, Staff Writer

Social media is a place full of algorithms, systems designed to find out exactly what content you want to see. This may seem innocent, but the way that they work is far from it. Many people already how these algorithms sell your data, but they might not know how this data is used.

Though social media platforms may advertise themselves as having the sole purpose of keeping you connected to friends and family, their main goal is to keep you addicted. Algorithms aid in this process by using your data to present content that they know you agree with. The reason why this is bad is that in many cases it can prevent you from seeing other perspectives, and sometimes it keeps you from seeing a complete story. This is known as a filter bubble, and when we use the internet we are all trapped in one to some degree. Only viewing content that you had agreed with previously leads you to believe that your opinion has to be correct and that anyone who disagrees must just be ignoring the facts. But the truth is, other people aren’t being recommended the same information as you. They are being recommended what algorithms determine they are going to agree with, consequently keeping them on that platform for a longer period of time.

This is why it is so important to look deeper into situations before accepting only what has been put right in front of you. Social media and the internet have so many positive effects on the world, but algorithms have a lot of negative effects. This and more is taught in the beginning of the AP Seminar course here at Lindenhurst High School as to prepare you for finding reliable sources. Always remember to do your own research and check the credibility of any source before believing it.