The reality we live in is based on the circumstances around us and our opinions. This in turn is based on our experiences and the information we receive and process. The internet has increased the speed and range of news transmission. However, this also means that much more information reaches us than we can process. We try to keep track of everything and are faced with the challenge of filtering content, separating the important from the unimportant. In the process, it becomes increasingly difficult to read and check all the information in detail.
Besides renowned news sources, internet services like Twitter and social networks like Facebook & Co. have established themselves as sources of information. The information comes to us automatically, we are no longer forced to actively research and look for it. We live under the fallacy that what is important will already reach us.
Social networks are now places where public opinion is formed. We like, comment and "share" in order to belong, to be part of the digital world - whereby reflection falls by the wayside. We overlook the fact that in the social networks mostly only opinions are spread and a discussion or even a constructive exchange of opinions only takes place to a limited extent. Discussions and posts in social media also suggest that a topic is important because there is a lot of talk about it; but in reality it can be quite different. And automated systems have long been used to send targeted messages and information to specific audiences.
We must realise that our world view is strongly dependent on these external circumstances. Therefore, we have to be clear about the corresponding mechanisms, remain critical and look beyond our own nose every now and then.