Economic Psychology Trivia: Break Out of the Echo Chamber


Google search results are different

Your Google search results are different from mine even if we use the same search words. You may believe there are still some big general trends, and that news popping up in your computer screen (or smartphone) is something attracting many other people. As a matter of fact, it’s all in the past. This misunderstanding is called “Daily Me.” This misunderstanding makes people reinforce their ways of thinking and avoid to communicate with other people with different values. Consequently, freedom of choice in information will be lost. Echo chamber: Cass Sunstein, a jurist in the US, coined the words with concerns that the Internet may destroy democracy.

The advantage of newspaper over the Internet

People can get an overview of general social trends by browsing news headlines, even though the contents of the news are not very interesting. This is the biggest advantage of newspaper over the Internet. Young people may not put up with news imposed by old authorities such as newspaper companies. They may believe “If the news is that important, it’ll find me.” The truth is, it’s not the matter of importance. The algorithms of web browsers impose news on us on their own judgement. Finally, they take away our freedom and independence in the information society.

Not “Daily Me” but “Daily Someone Else” sometimes

Today’s article is completely different. The past ones were only about our furniture. We had sent such promotional articles to the people who are in the interior- or design-related industries. This kind of promotion is natural because we are a furniture manufacturer, but I won’t stick to the promotion only of our products any more. One reason is for differentiation from many other newsletters. Another one is my small resistance to “Daily Me.” I hope you enjoy “Daily Someone Else” once in a while, and some of my articles will interest you as well.

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.