Millennials and Online Filter Bubbles

Eli Pariser recently spoke at TED about how social media, search sites and other online entities are creating “filter bubbles” that remove opposing views from users results. As a [X] I agree that this is worrisome, but I wonder if Millennial (born 1982-2004) will agree. The Millennial generation is much more willing to participate in group-think and less worried about individualism. Eli’s first quote is from a famous Millennial: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

While it may concern Gen X’ers (and Boomer (born 1943-1960)) that people might tend to polarize around ideals, that fits right in with what the Millennials are all about: picking an ideal for the group and sticking with it. After all, isn’t that what they were taught by Barney for all those early years?

6 thoughts on “Millennials and Online Filter Bubbles”

  1. What is the name of the other generation, after 1981, after Generation X, I mean.. 1981 up to today.. so far the boomers are the best generation of our times.

  2. Very historical post it is! I've found here good info about various social networks and generations. I'm agreeing with Neil from 1981 to today the boomers are the best generation in recent times. Thanks 🙂

  3. i really don’t think it’s fair to characterize millenials as a bunch of sheep who are incapable of thinking for themselves.

    1. I agree that not all Mill’s are into group-think, but when you compare them with Gen X’ers or Booomers they are much more collaborative and group-oriented. I don’t see that as a bad thing at all. Cooperation is required for society-building and that is what I believe that the Mill’s are capable of given how they were raised.

      1. eh i guess…i’m not sure what you mean by “how they were raised” though. i guess you can generalize but there are about 80 million i believe. pretty sure they all weren’t raised the same. i’d just find it very alarming if there were a person who didn’t have a problem with this online filter bubbles thing. basically filters out anything that may challenge what you think. you’d never have to critically think about your views, the internet news sites would just keep confirming them.

        1. Generational theory is not about the individual but rather about the values of the group. It is similar to cultural values. For example, there are some things we can say about the values of Americans in contrast to the values of the Japanese. Some might say that Japanese are more conscious of “saving face” than Americans, but that does not mean that every person from Japan (or America) fits this description. The same is true for generations. Gen X’ers (like me) were raised during a time where little value was placed on parenting or the needs of children, especially when contrasted with the way that Millennials were raised (in the age of the “helicopter parent”). Does this mean that all Gen X’ers had parents that were out of touch or unconcerned? Of course not, but it does mean that the cultural norm at the time was very different.

          That’s why I mentioned Barney in the post. Although I admit it sounded flip, the reality is that Gen X’ers were pretty much raised by wolves and Millennials were more like hot-house flowers. The expectation that Mill’s would collaborate was instilled early on (and Barney is a great example of this ethic). This continued for many Mill’s during their education where they did lots of group work in school and got lots of support from parents at home. Again, this may not apply to everyone in the generation, but the contrast to how Gen X’ers were raised is fairly stark.

          So the result is that Mill’s, in general, are more collaborative than Gen X’ers. Just like one can call the pragmatism of Gen X’ers cynicism, one can also characterize the Mill’s collaboration as group-think. There is positive and negative to each of these tendencies.

          My personal experience with Millennials (I have a couple kids that are Mill’s and have taught many of them in school) is that they are much more willing to go along with the group and support existing rules and laws than Gen X’ers were at their age. When I was young, many of my peers would go against the rules just to make a point and prove their individuality. Many Gen X’ers just wanted to whatever society felt was unacceptable (Slacker culture is a good example). While Millennials will certainly push against older values (their stance on gay marriage is a good example) they will typically do it as a group in an effort to affect change rather than as individuals just to prove they don’t give a damn about society.

          BTW, if you are curious about generational theory, I suggest you consider taking a look at the work of Neil Howe and William Strauss. I have a primer on the site here: http://www.thegenxfiles/com/start-here At first this stuff may sound like astrology, but once you start looking into their support for the theories it starts to make more sense.

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