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Personalization of the web through algorithms has become common and almost normal for many internet users. Because of the efficiency of reaching things that are necessary but may not be relevant or significant to them, users forget about other information that they do not need but may find relevant. An example is when a user initiates an internet search about climate change, and as a result of personalization the information they get is primarily restricted to their area of residence, be it country or state. As a consequence, they do not look at climate change with regard to other parts of the world. This is the negative effect of the use of algorithms – it restricts information when a user does not dig deeper and widen the search scope.
Pariser talks about an internet bubble where, as a result of personalization, a user is somewhat alone in the vast internet environment instead of being connected with the millions of other users. Personalization means that there is no standard result for anything an internet user wants from the web: all searches and other tasks performed online are streamlined according to a criterion established by algorithms. The use of algorithms has negative impacts as it does not base its restrictions on the relevancy or importance of the information provided. Instead, it shuts out divergent views, uncomfortable informaion, and knowledge widening information.
Pariser’s perspective on Internet Company’s responsibility to insert ethical and civic standards into their algorithms is genuine. The Internet should operate based on the users’ desires, but it is not the way the algorithms are designing it. Instead of providing vast amounts of information about a subject, searches and information feeds provide limited information based on standards that are neither approved by the user nor pre-stated as the criteria based on to provide information. The subtle censoring of information is not fair to the user who neither has the idea of what criteria is used to avail information nor is given a chance to decide what information to receive or not receive. Internet companies are responsible for the introduction of algorithms as they believe in personalization. However, as many advantages as the algorithms may have, users are entitled to deciding what information they consume or not consume. As such, internet companies should insert ethical and civic standards as well as allow personalization through choice.
Communication is an art and a skill that is learned, and in this process one can improve the qualities that are already strong. As for me, my strengths lie in the aspects of verbal communication as a result of mastery of spoken language. Writtten language is also not a problem; however, striking a right balance of business tone and not sounding curt is difficult, especially when the use of non-verbal cues is untenable. Another one of my strengths is business writing that is largely an acquired skill that I have mastered throughout my studies.
One of my biggest weaknesses is the use of cliché business jargon that, according to Garner, is likely to cause disinterest in recipients of the message. The reason for the heavy use of business jargon is that most of the time it is assumed that these are accepted and universally applicable terms; being rude to recipients is certainly not the intention. Garner emphasizes the importance of pausing and thinking before speaking. This, he says, is important as it allows the speaker a moment to reflect on the effects of their choice of words or how they present a communication, especially when under pressure or stressed.
In his speech Garner addresses several of my concerns. He first highlights the Danny and Gruver effect and explains how poor communicators over-rate themselves as opposed to good communicators who tend to over-rate others. This is an important aspect for self-diagnosis. He also sufficiently covers my areas of weakness, including the use of business clichés and striking a balance between business and polite tone.