Individual thought is something we see rarely these days. The definition of an individual is the ability to think on their own, but, with the emergence of technology and the filter bubbles that come with, once individuals have inadvertently turned to groupthink. I believe that a lack of thought is dangerous and a large contributing factor to the extreme polarity over political views, accurately displayed by the constant battle between the right and the left. Without individual thought, we end up with discussions over superficial matters.
People have given up individual thought and exchanged it with groupthink, the act of confining oneself to only one perspective and recirculating information in a bubble. And it’s easy to understand why people would resort to groupthink since it requires less energy and with other people who believe in you it makes you feel like you are part of something bigger, and with the emergence of technology, this has become even easier. Technology exacerbates existing filter bubbles as services such as Google and YouTube only show us what we like to see, over time this leads us to believe that other ideas are radical and dangerous whilst radicalizing our own ideas with most of the time not even noticing it’s happening. Whenever someone tries to escape said bubble the escapee faces ridicule from the entire group. Rather than an ideology representing an individual’s beliefs, it becomes a powerful weapon to enslave the minds of the masses, ultimately the individual becomes a slave to their ideology.
One of the largest symptoms of groupthink is the battle between Trump and the media. News sources such as CNN, HuffPost, The Guardian, and Buzzfeed have been demonizing Trump ever since his campaign. When someone doesn’t agree with the media or the media doesn’t agree with them the person is called a racist and a homophobe, as seen with the case of Democratic candidate Andrew Yang, and since all most all mainstream media exists in the same bubble no one powerful enough speaks up. On the flip side of the coin, we see Trump employing the same tactics that the media uses against him. By constantly telling his followers that media is fake followers feel obliged by their ideology to stop watching mainstream media. This introduces a plethora of problems with the largest one being that a major population of the US is cut off from different perspectives leading to even more groupthink. But the fact of the matter is that most people aren’t as extreme as their ideology and by teaching people how to think for themselves we provide society the tools to pull itself back together.