"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." ~ Charles Dickens
This passage from Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities aptly describes the paradox of modern technology, especially social media, which is increasingly defining (and dividing) modern culture: With unprecedented amounts of tools to create our own reality, humans have equal capacity to either use the information as a tool to increase quality of life or to be perpetually distracted and fragmented so thinly that life fades quietly into a false reality that is increasingly reliant upon the comfort and convenience of illusion.
All of one's biases and preconceived notions can be shaped by "Liking" only people and sources of information that agree with one's egocentric views of the world. We create our own radio stations or subscribe to those only with music that we already know; We subscribe to news feeds that only agree with our political, religious and financial positions.
"You are where your attention takes you. In fact, you are your attention. If your attention is fragmented, you are fragmented..." ~ Deepak Chopra
The paradox of social media is that it's ability to bring millions of people together is the same cause of dividing people into smaller groups; the greatest unifying force of human kind today is a cause of its fragmentation. We consume information but we don't pause to think of what it is that information consumes. It consumes our attention; and if our attention is consumed, our mind--our reality--is fragmented.
People no longer belong to physical communities; they belong to cyber-tribes. What once defined culture has been broken into millions of pieces. For example, personal music stations are self-created on websites, such as Pandora, so there is little chance for those without self-awareness to discover musical genres and artists that stretch beyond one's personal taste--there are no surprises and there are few opportunities to move beyond the boundaries we create for ourselves.
Self-created reality is attractive but if you want to grow as a human and if you want to open your mind to all possibilities, you will adopt the scientific method that says, "Prove yourself wrong." This is difficult to do in a world that provides limitless means to prove yourself right without even thinking for yourself.
Related: Beware of Confirmation Bias