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The power of an algorithm ! Tribalism

Last updated on 04.06.2020

The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. RUSSEL, Bertrand.

Technology has put all of us inside of our own bubbles. It is right to say that our routine revolves around mobiles which are connected to the Internet that we are used to using every day, since the beginning of the day until its ends. The facility that technology has provided to mankind put us inside of a bubble, even without we are able to notice it.

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The fact is our lives are unconscious connected to the necessity to have people in our social circle that agrees with our opinion. The Human Being will often avoid a fight or argumentation because we are usually accommodated to accept the easy way to get out of confusion. We pretend to be strong, but we have the necessity to have people supporting our opinions.

The Human Being since the beginning is used to have people in the social circle, that supports their opinions. It is easier to have friendship and agree with someone that shares the same idea that you, and has the same thought and point of view about. This unconscious method of being close of people which agrees with you, towards since the Egypt and Pharaohs at 3100 B.C. , when they were used group cities, which those groups, used to maintain in the social circle, just the people that agreed with them, and other tribes with opposite opinions were considered enemies.

We were taught since the beginning to be closed minded, so do not be open to new ideas, or new opinions. We were taught since the beginning to discriminate those who think differently. We can have a classic example of these closed-minded people, and discrimination against a contrary opinion, the Catholic Church, in the Inquisition at the XII century, which goal were to combat the heresy according to the Britannica site¹, which is a clear example of discrimination against other cultures. Another example of classical discrimination is the slavery in Africa according to the a researcher from the Colorado University, slavery existed in some of Africa’s earliest organized societies. More than 3″,500 years ago, ancient Egyptians raided neighboring societies for slaves, and the buying and selling of slaves were regular activities in cities along the Nile River².

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The tribalism is a concept according to the Oxford Dictionary, is a junction of behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group³. It divides groups by their opinions but is not a higher force that does it, it is the owns humans that divide themselves into groups judging by their opinions.

Technology has come to help us with our necessities, but the past few years it has evolved into a dangerous weapon used to develop our ego, and blind us about empathy. Nowadays Technology has crucial role in our lives, our skill to think about a opinion and analysis it, while our visual skills have improved, according to the researcher by Patricia Greenfield, UCLA, professor of psychology and director 6. We can keep connected 24 hours per day with users around the world. It is interesting how a person can spend hours and hours in front of a computer or Smartphone just reading gossips or information about another person’s life.

The Internet allows us to search for any information that we are interested in and acknowledge. These days there are a bunch of sites (the “place” you can find information) for any specified matter you want, you just need to Google-it(A search engine that allows finding any information) and read about. Therefore this is the good side of the Internet, that we can have contact with any kind of information.

There are a thousand ways to spend time on the Internet, but Social Media is widely the place which people spend more time. Social Media became famous at the beginning of the XXI century when it started people have not understood the idea behind it, that was to connect people around the world without all the difficulties the old world used to have to connect with someone. Usually, when a person started to use Social Media on the Internet, they used to spend in a day from 30 minutes to 2 hours, because it was not an attractive market, so you did not have all the merchandising and all information to be consumed like nowadays. Social Media when it started had a mission to connect people, and those people would share their thoughts and values with foreign or known people.

According to the site Social Media Today the amount of time that people are spending on social media is increasing over the years. Teens are spending now up to nine hours a day on social platforms. Where 30% of all time spent online is allocated to social media interaction. And the most part spent in a mobile is in front of a mobile screen, that is 60%4.

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Therefore during the process to get known, the Social Media gathered more users, and Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram became famous through people, and with the constant technology evolution the access to those Social Media becomes even easier and the hours spent connected increased exponentially. The technology evolution and the growth of users in Social Media elicit an old concept that we have since our ancestral, the tribalism.

Thus the problem of spending too much time in front of a computer or a Smartphone started in 2010 when we were able to use the Social Medias at any place. Being connected is not the principal mistake in our society, it is the constant interaction that it promotes 24(twenty-four) hours per day with robots or people. The constant need to be connected result in dependency of being recognized and a necessity for attention that and Internet rose up as an answer. It is an addiction that can result in a lot of trouble not only for the user addicted but for society5.

Social Media are an intelligent business who profit with how much you use their program. They are experts to do a person spend hours and hours without notice in front of the mobile using their program. Therefore what we do not know it is that they use an algorithm that causes an effect like a “Bubble”, which shows just what the users want to see. Explaining it better, it means based on the user search, likes, shares, navigation history in Social Media shows a content based on it letting the user navigate in hours and hours of content of his satisfaction.

“Bubble” algorithm it is an informal way to describe what occurs at the Back-End(the part of a site we can not see, with programmatic and codes), the algorithm is based on Artificial Intelligent and Deep Learning, in other words the own Social Media, without anyone moving to this happen, it is able to decide what shows to you based on your search historic, likes, clicks and shares. The task is to hold you as much as it can so you may spend your time in front of your mobile accessing Social Medias, showing to you things which you might like, or things you have already liked.

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The algorithm “Bubble” has come to reinforce an old concept as described above, the tribalism, showing to a user just what he wants to see, make him creates its own bubble, and anyone who tries to take him out will be considered as a hostile. A person that is just accustomed with it owns opinion leans toward intolerance, and a be a closed mind person. An example of where to find Bubble’s algorithm are the suggestions of the YouTube, those are based on your searches.

The problem with the Bubble’s algorithm is out the Internet when the user tries to interact with other people with different opinions. It generates conflict between the two wistful minds, but even more gravely it is when both are closed-minded and do not accept contrary opinions. The problems can aggravate to a serious problem where can generate groups of opinions which can result in violence or intolerance.

In general what usually facilitate the growth of violence and intolerance caused by the Social Media, is the lack of the necessary attention that we need to have everyday. Social Media is a place full of bad understood people, where they can be whatever they want. This fiction that they create, usually put them inside of a bubble, and can not face the truth out of it. The truth is, the lack of attention might cause a pursuit for recognition at the Social Media, a dangerous pursuit.

We must dose the hours we spent in Social Media, to do not accentuate the tribalism concept , and always look for contrary opinions, trying to get out of our owns bubble. It is important to let the kid away from the exposure of Social Media because they are people without a formed opinion, and the damages that “Bubble” algorithm can disturb the formation of the kids, that might result in intolerant and racists people or result in a conduct disorder(Conduct disorder is a mental disorder usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence . These behaviors are often referred to as “antisocial behaviors.”) caused by the Social Media.

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