Binary Thinking

When we take a look at our family and friends, and even ourselves, we can see that we’re much more complex than being a democrat or republican. But in the age of the internet, we’re increasingly being sorted into neat compartments because this is how the algorithms function. Algorithms don’t see the grey areas, but rather organize us into yes or no, red or blue, on or off, 1s or 0s.

As the internet and social media become a regular part of our lives, the algorithms begin to influence the way we think. They destroy any attempts to understand the other side by sorting you into a category and keeping you in an ideological bubble. 

Most issues are not simple enough to completely capture in a tweet, social media post, or even a single news article. Having an informed point of view means engaging with information, asking questions, and holding healthy skepticism towards all sides. 

When we make knee-jerk responses to online content, we contribute to the divisions of our country by engaging with the ugly back-and-forth that’s kept us from making real progress. 

How can we better understand the other side and refuse to let ourselves get boxxed in by binary thinking?

Here are some resources to further explore the issue of binary thinking and find out what we can do about it: