We must first look to the filter bubble, and the resulting echo chambers that the larger companies have promoted. It initially seems like a good idea to be repeatedly presented with what you want or like, through search engines or news feeds, and that you meet others through this. It feels pleasurable to find ‘like’-minded individuals, and helps us feel less alone in our views and interests. But there are two consequences that need to be considered. Firstly, we start to become less critical in our thinking when a feeling of sameness with others grows. This can result in an astonishing and moving outpouring of grief, as we saw after the death of Princess Diana. But we can also switch off, and lose touch with why those who are different from us think and feel the way they do, and then lose touch with reality itself. In the famous myth of ‘Echo and Narcissus’, Narcissus, after rejecting Echo’s love, becomes fascinated in a reflected image of all that he admires in himself; unable to look away, he wastes away and dies.
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