How Facebook makes us dumber
A new study on users of Facebook aiming to test the question: When people are online, do they encounter opposing views, or do they create the virtual equivalent of gated communities (find people who agree with them)?
Not unexpectedly, the researchers found a lot of communities of like-minded people. More generally, Facebook users tended to choose and share stories containing messages they accept, and to neglect those they reject. (Surely that should be obvious).
What the study does not mention however, is the tendency for people to become more reinforced in their beliefs, which are being confirmed by what they are seeing on Facebook. For example, you think increasing the minimum wage is a good idea, that Obamacare is working well, or Donald Trump would be a good president. Arriving at these judgments by yourself, you might well hold them tentatively and with a fair degree of uncertainty. But once you find lots of people agree with you, you are likely to end up with more certainty.
What do you think? Do you use Facebook? And if so, how do you use it? Do you have 'friends' who ever disagree with what you post there?