I have a theory.
Ok it's less of a theory and more of a question I've been asking myself.
With all the personalized experiences we engage with regularly - from Amazon, to Netflix, to targeted email marketing and tailored Google ads - what impact are all these having on who we are becoming?
Could it be that we're slowly becoming an anemic version of ourselves that can be easily measured and predicted?
Could it be that we're turning into the shadow of ourselves that the algorithms understand?
We think we're browsing and exploring but we're not.
We're consuming the tailored experience these algorithms determined we would respond favorably to.
Everything we might accidentally discover by truly browsing or exploring is slowly stripped away until the only things we see, hear, or read are the things that reinforce what we've already seen, heard, and read - or some variation of those things the system has determined we're likely to enjoy and engage with.
Our view of the world morphs into a thin segment of the world reinforcing our beliefs and blinding us to everything else that doesn't fit cleanly into this curated world.
I enjoy the convenience all this personalization offers, but I do wonder if we're transforming or even eroding ourselves without realizing it.
Would I benefit from intentionally seeking out more of those things that aren't served up to me on a platter?