Freedom of speech encompasses the marketplace of ideas — both free expression and free consumption. This noble ideal comes with some responsibility to listen with an open mind and seek opposing points of view. In our world of personalized news and targeted ads, it is easier than ever to live in an online echo chamber.

Escape Your Online Echo Chamber

Obviously online advertising targets our interests, but less obviously our news feeds cater to us based on past clicks. This is also true of online searches. Rather than present the “best” data for our searches, search engines like Google and Bing predict what information would please us most. While this can be convenient, it does not encourage us to step outside of our comfort zones to explore new things. Allowing algorithms to dictate our information consumption limits free speech by reducing the world of ideas to people who already see the world as we do. We can’t get out of the cave.

Instead of dismissing books, movies or games based on reviews from inside your online echo chamber, try something you might hate. Be a moth to the flames of controversy and form your own opinions. You may be surprised by the books and movies that you are told that you would not like that you end up cherishing.