Incestuous Amplification: What it Is and How to Avoid It

Incestuous Amplification: What It Is and How To Avoid It

( – Imagine a world where we only received information consistent with our preconceived ideas, a world where the information we disagreed with didn’t reach us, be it on politics, religion, economics, etc. That’s incestuous amplification in a nutshell — the reinforcement of ideas when like-minded people communicate with one another online or in person.

Also referred to as an echo chamber, information crossing one’s path reflects one’s own thoughts and opinion like an echoed slapback of one’s own voice when speaking into a canyon.

The problem with incestuous amplification is it can lead to a stagnation of perspective, limiting one’s ability to learn and develop new ideas.

Facebook is a perfect example of an echo chamber in action. Its algorithms pick up on one’s online engagements, friendships, and professed interests and only feeds back information consistent with that data.

If you feel this happens to you, step outside the redundancy of an echo chamber by seeking out a knowledgeable individual to suggest materials to explore subjects of interest to you. You can also take the time to read materials opposing a particular viewpoint to get a broader perspective on the issue. Read articles you see on social media sites instead of merely reacting to them based on their titles.

We’re never too old to learn something new, particularly if we avoid falling into the trap of incestuous amplification.

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