The Comfort Bubble

How Algorithms are Ruining our Creativity

Kaya Olsen
4 min readFeb 19, 2021

The internet is an amazing place for getting inspiration, meeting new people and learning anything your heart desires. It’s given billions of people a voice who didn’t have one before, and they’re using it with gusto — myself included.

It’s an amazing development I can only celebrate. However, there is one little issue that bugs me a bit. To make sense of all those voices, companies have introduced algorithms that filter our input to match what they guess are our interests and desires. For that reason, our online feeds keep showing us things that are similar to what we’ve clicked on previously. By analyzing our behavior in the past, it tries to predict our behavior in the future. Very clever.

But also very restricting. By making suggestions that match our previous behavior, it guides us to stick to our old patterns. It doesn’t challenge us, doesn’t expose us to different perspectives, and doesn’t help us broaden our horizon. I understand why current algorithms operate like this: Their job is to keep us engaged in the platform they serve. Of course, the best bet is to give us more of what we seem to like.

However, the way those algorithms have been designed is very flawed in my opinion. I don’t just want to see what I like. I want to see what is true. I want to be…