I recently listened to a podcast episode on The Ezra Klein Show titled “How to Discover Your Own Taste” which struck a chord with me like you wouldn’t believe. I had a significant aha moment! It got me thinking about the subtle, yet significant, shift in the way we experience culture in the digital age and how it influences our personal taste.
The episode discusses how in a world dominated by algorithms, the ease of finding content tailored to “our preferences” has undeniably increased. However, the flip side is a digital landscape that feels very uniform, where the fresh and unique are often overshadowed by a sea of familiarity. This realization prompted me to reflect on my own corner of the internet.
Being in a space where creatively I push myself day in and day out, I started to think about the ways this affects me. Am I a diluted version of the internet’s algorithmic taste or am I actually sharing my point of view? Is the constant barrage of content, shaped by unseen algorithms, tempting me to conform or rather express my individuality? My personal taste?
And what about you?
While soaking in my thoughts, I realize that unknowingly, in my quest to be more aligned with who I am (been doing a lot of work through coaching and therapy on this front), I started doing things late last year that have shifted my perspective. I made a conscious decision to step back from constantly scouring other accounts. Not because I didn’t appreciate them, but rather to reclaim my own headspace. I wanted to lean into my human design, sharing things that moved me organically, rather than subconsciously mirroring what I saw on the internet repeatedly.
It’s a scary thought but I think if we reflect, we’ve all done this. For me, it might be a design perspective or a recipe. For you, it might be a fashion preference or a travel destination. Sometimes, I think it goes beyond that. It is as mundane as sharing that cup of coffee in a manner that’s not authentic, but how everyone else on the internet shares their morning cup of joe.
After listening to this episode, I am now acutely aware of the subconscious influence that algorithms exert. Not just in theory but in real life. While some would say that it’s a delicate dance, between succumbing to the allure of what’s algorithmically popular and staying true to oneself, I say let’s explore the latter. That we should choose our own point of view over those on the internet. That what interests us matters and that perhaps in sharing this you’ll not only find your people but also inspire someone to be authentically themselves because truthfully the allure of sameness has nothing alluring about it. After all, it’s in the unexpected and the unconventional that we truly discover the richness of a more beautiful life.
Here’s your encouragement to rediscover your individuality in this extremely filtered world.