Information goods: better informed users or hurdles of biased followers?
During the last lecture we covered the topic “information goods”. Due to the emerging of the internet, we have increased access to many types of information goods. In the lecture examples such as CD’s, or DVD’s were given but information goods can also have a sensitive character such as information regarding medical health reports, or any other medical condition. This has certain advantages, for instance, consumers can Google shameful conditions and save embarrassments, they can become more informed, and also, those who are suffering of an illness can find support on several blogs, patient-centric websites and support groups (Medicomhealth, 2014). On the other hand, because of bad regulation over a great amount of sources, people might get misinformed due to misleading information. Nowadays, we are so exposed through all kinds of sources such as Facebook or twitter that it might lead people being over exposed to sensitive information. This is especially dangerous in cases where people tend to take what they see as true, while in reality, information and especially its source is highly biased. For example, propaganda concerning extremist behaviour. There are tons and tons of sources online that preach any kind of extreme religion or belief. In its extreme, someone who is naive and/or curious might be affected by a certain source in two ways: either he will grow a hatred against the group and start to generalize others, or he will grow affection and start to emphasize and support the group. Two opposite ways that might have big consequences. Our modern society makes us more and more connected and informed. We are not bounded by geographical borders anymore but our reach expands across mountains and seas. When I speak of reach, I speak of reach in the widest possible meaning of the word. We can expand our knowledge by soaking up literature that is widely available, experience free online classes, interact with other cultures, or like I previously mentioned, Google our conditions, and possibly eliminate doctor appointments. However, on the other hand, this has big disadvantages as well, such as being misled or influenced by the wrong type of information.
Sensitive information causes us to be more informed but are people aware of the true nature of certain information goods? What do you think ? Do the benefit outpace the threats? Is our modern society contributing to better informed and thus wiser citizens, or are we getting more and more biased due to over explosion?