Jocelyn’s Jottings: Getting my news from Facebook

How permeable is the bubble that you live in?

Sometimes I forget about Facebook algorithms and website cookies and caches. I get caught up in my little social media world, thinking I am keeping track of everything and informed, only to realize that I am not.

We all know about the flooding in the southeastern states. I’ve seen tear jerking videos and captivating photos of the disaster.

But did you know there is also major flooding going on in South Asia?

Similarly to what is going on in the States, people are in desperate need of help.

According to CBC, more than 1,000 people have died so far, and the photos of the water, the people needing emergency rescues and the devastation are very similar to those coming out of the States.

The thing is, and it pains me to say this, I didn’t know about it. I consume 95 per cent of my news online, minus looking at print copies of the Mirror and I just didn’t see the story.

I finally realized when an article popped up on my news feed that read something like “why is no one paying attention to the flooding in South Asia?”

I am horrified. I like to think of myself as informed, not only because I have to be for my job, but because I want to be. I think it is important to be a global citizen and to think of myself as part of a larger community.

It impacts the way I think about people and the way I live my life in a positive way.

But at the end of the day, taking myself on a guilt trip only does so much.

What I have to do is change the way I consume news.

I, like many people I think, have become too dependent on Facebook.

Though I get push notifications on my phone from news apps like the New York Times, the Globe and Mail and CBC, they don’t push everything.

My go to is my Facebook feed. I naively think that because I have followed all of these news pages that I will see everything important.

I know this isn’t true, but it’s easy to forget.

And this punch to the gut made me remember that there are computers out there regulating the content that I see based on what I have clicked, liked, or shared before.

I immediately went to the CBC page and liked their top 20 stories.

And then I changed a setting so that every time I open my news feed I will see posts from my favourite news organizations first.

This isn’t enough. I will be more diligent in going to websites and looking for information for myself, instead of just waiting for it to come to me.

But it is a start.

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