Is the World Wide Web Becoming a Filtered Web?

There is no doubt that the internet is quickly progressing and changing. One of the changes that has been made is the way information is filtered. In Writing for Digital Media class we watched “TED Talk by Eli Pariser: Beware online ‘filter bubbles’” and responded to it. It was great to watch a speech given with a strong point of view and some strong graphics to go with what he was talking about. 

I agree with what he was saying to a certain extent. I definitely think it’s important that the internet is able to inform us on what is going on throughout the world, both the good and the bad. In the his speech Eli made a strong point knowing is a a good part of being able to contribute to society. Furthermore, when people share knowledge of things that are occurring locally and globally, conversation is advanced. So let’s pop the ‘filter bubble’ by being more thorough in our searches and finding substantial news along with other information of significant importance.

I was surprised to find out that Google shows different results for each person. On the other hand, If we make a search specific, then we will be able to find anything. The internet does not block us from information. The information is out there; it is just not as easy to find it in as short of a time.

In the case of Facebook, I think it is convenient to have filters because it helps you to narrow down what you want to see. Eli said that his conservative friends were no longer coming up on his news feed, but the simple solution would be to just make a list of conservative friends so that they are only a click away.

Here is the video if you are interested watching it.

Ultimately, I think it is more important to focus on any real life bubble that may exist in our life. Sometimes it can be difficult to get out of when you live on a college campus (especially the Southeastern University resort that is fenced in from all the drugs, homelessness, and brokenness of Lakeland, FL). We hear about the needs of our community a lot but until we actually get out on the streets where the violence takes place and work to make a change, then we remain in our own little bubble.

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Adopt-a-block

What is adopt-a-block?

Adopt-a-block is a ministry that gives those desiring to reach out an opportunity to do so. The purpose is to make connections with the people of a focused area (a literal block). With consistency in reaching out, relationships will be established and the gospel will be received with open hearts.

Webster Block 1

Today, I walked around a few streets near the Dream Center of Lakeland with three others. We headed out from the Dream Center with bags of food and no specific destination except the parameter of our assigned block (5th St. to Webster St. to 10th St. to Lincoln St. and everything in between).

Along the way we saw several people about to head to a funeral for someone who was shot in the back of the head. It was a picture of the sorrow and pain that the community faces all too often. As we talked to a neighbor who told us what was going on, you could sense the reality of their suffering and pain. I cannot even begin to imagine the horror of knowing that someone stuck a gun to the back of my son’s head and pulled the trigger. While the presence of the Dream Center has helped to lower the crime rate in the area, there is still a need for people to see and experience the hope of Christ’s resurrection and His abundant, steadfast love for all humanity. This alone has opened my eyes to seeing how necessary it is to be interceding for the lives of those in this community.

Graphic designed by Travis Cooper. Click on the picture to check out more of his work on his tumblr.

As we continued to walk along, we met a few more people and familiarized ourselves with the streets. One encounter that stuck out to me was when we stopped and talked to a women named Laurie. We offered Laurie a bag of food and she gratefully accepted it. We talked with Laurie, for around half an hour and this encounter helped me see how ungrateful I can be at times. I complain a lot about Chartwell’s food, yet her 10 year old son stuck his head out with the biggest smile after tearing open the plastic bag to find applesauce. There is a great need and I pray that we are able to meet some of them and show/share the love of Christ in the midst of it.

How to get involved

Anyone can get involved by coming out to the Dream Center of Lakeland (on the Corner of 5th St. and Kettles St.) at 9am on any Saturday except the 4th one of the month.