Healthy Information Consumption is Like Brewing Coffee: Impossible Without Filters

With increased access to information, comes increased risk of information overload. We are drowning in a sea of irrelevant, misinformed wikis, rants and cat videos. Without some sort of filter to dredge this sea, it can be difficult to find valid information. But with too much filtering, your sources for information can be limited and you could lock yourself in a filter bubble of single viewpoints.

Tweetdeck application showing my info filters - Digital Innovation/News, #DigitalMerketing, DIY, and #steampunk

Tweetdeck application showing my info filters – Digital Innovation/News, #DigitalMarketing, DIY, and #steampunk

Self-curating services like Tweetdeck allow you to create your own topic-centered stores of information, by filtering incoming information by user or hashtag. As you see, I’m looking at Digital Innovation and searching for #DigitalMarketing, and DIYers, with #Steampunk, a popular crafting genre, as my search. When looking at a very specific interest, having Tweetdeck sort your incoming tweets in this way is very useful. However, especially with the user-searches, there’s still potential for “information cocoons” – getting stuck in one way of thinking because that particular viewpoint is the only one you see (EID100 Notes). The hashtag search is better at countering this, because searching for a topic can still give you dissenting opinions. I’ve found this curation very helpful for my specific topics – instead of looking around, I can have my newsfeed tailored to my interests. But it’s important not to just look at your Tweetdeck feed – it’s essential to exercise one’s curiosity by searching for new topics. And if I’m looking for a specific bit of data, it is also much easier to search for it specifically than to try and find it in my Twitter feed.

Overall opinion: Tweetdeck is great for efficient filtering of information by topic, but receiving all one’s news there is NOT recommended, for the sake of opinion diversity.

Resources Used:

Lecture notes from EID 100