Sally Around the Bay

Time to Step Out of the Echo Chamber

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A few elections ago, I unfollowed many of my friends and family on Facebook who posted political things I did not agree with. I created lists on Twitter to follow people who made me happy. I wanted social media to be what it used to be, a place to relax, have fun, and socialize. However, social media has evolved to a place where many of us read our news and share our political beliefs.

In creating these filters and only clicking on certain news stories I trained the algorithms of these sites to feed me what I want to hear. This is all fun and games until you wake up one day and remember a large percentage of people in this country are very unhappy and think completely differently than you do.

Lately, I have been taking breaks from social media, particularly from Facebook and what I have noticed after 24 or more hours of not being connected 24/7 is besides having much less anxiety and stress, I am thinking of random people I haven’t connected with in awhile and reaching out to them.

Communicating via social media is somewhat like road rage in LA in the 80s. Protected by their car, people would act completely irrational and rude. But face to face, those people were generally decent human beings. The safety of being behind our screens has made many people act (or seem) completely irrational and rude but then when we are face to face with them we think maybe they’re actually not that bad.

Perhaps it’s time we step out of our own echo chambers, peek over the wall of the digital divide, and try reconnecting with humans again face to face. I agree with Theo E.J. Wilson when he says,
“It’s time to start having courageous conversations with difficult people.”

Watch the video. What do you think?

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