Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Pew results on the 'Future' of Personal Politics

Of particular interest in the Pew report was 'Part 12, Politics', that indicated the respondents were divided on whether the people would use the internet to filter out opposing points of view. It would be interesting, but nearly impossible, to get data on how people use news sources on the internet. I think most thoughtful people compare multiple sources: contacts, newspapers, radio, internet, tv. How might the internet change this? It is vastly easier for people to access Ha'aretz, Xinhua, or 700Club news sources online than in print, and tv media rarely carry them. But the key, I think, to deliberate filtering behavior is distanciation: the dissolving of some social connections in a way that you can neither completely identify with nor mindlessly despise the other. It feels SAFER for people to access an opposing viewpoint through anonymous surfing than with physical talking and its possible threats. I think access of political information online allows some distance- distance to be braver and click into the opposing camp. Has anyone done this? Do you think that those who wouldn't consider opposing viewpoints in person or in other media ALSO would not consider them online? Or does the anonymity allow experimentation?

1 comment:

  1. During the last election, I viewed a very opposing spectrum of people on campus when considering who to support. My room-mates were divided between candidates, as were many of my friends. As undergraduates on campus with internet access at every turn, there were still many people (to my dismay) that chose to support a candidate without knowing the full information regarding the candidtates stand point on some issues. I have witnessed some ridiculous fights between friends about something shown on a tv advertisement about something that one of the candidates had done/said. Rather than going and researching online to see what the real story was, they continued to sit and argue.

    Even with all the information at people's fingertips, people have opinions about their own candidate and others. It seemed to me that in most cases that I saw, people would rather stay true to their own candidate and remain nieve about a situation. Sad as that sounds.