Life in the Echo Chamber

I wrote yesterday about opening our minds to as many points of view as we can. We must.

That’s why I always “read the comments”, online, hard though that sometimes may be. That’s why I actively seek out viewpoints I know I loathe. Seek first to understand. Why do people believe what they do? What does it mean?

Life in our echo chambers is loud. Facebook feed-echoes of my own beliefs, fragments of thought and sound, reflected back to me. Do you think I ever see articles or posts supporting (insert politician’s name here)? Nope. Twitter feed? For the most part, echoes of the same beliefs, topics, opinions.

Our lives on social media are highly curated. Our future is likely to be even more curated, as the algorithms surrounding us get more and more powerful. I mean, Netflix knows I don’t generally watch comedies, and it knows I don’t watch cartoons, but would it kill the algorithm to make a “left field” suggestion once in a while?

When I used to go to record stores, half the fun was digging through, and finding something that looks new and interesting. Many discoveries were made that. How do we discover things non? Even the days of random web surfing are mostly over. We interface through our devices, and see what we want to see.

Try this: think about a belief or opinion you know you don’t agree with. Actively seek out all the information you can on that topic. Decide for yourself, what’s “fake news”, and what’s not. Leave your echo chamber, even if for just a little while.

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