Last summer, on my way home from Printer’s Row in Chicago, I listened to a speaker on NPR talk about the dangers of the “open book” nature of our personal information on the internet. That was before Fake News was in my ears every day, before the Russian Facebook ads, before I thought as much about my opinions being manipulated. The main threat, this speaker said, was not about identity theft. It was about what I’ll call sameness channeling.
I’m sure we all experience it. I click on an ad for Boom cosmetics and suddenly I’m inundated by baby boomer product ads. It happens with search engines, too. What we routinely search and click helps determine what appears at the top of our screen. This is a good thing in some obvious ways. I don’t want to see an obscure article about bunions when I’m looking for an orthopedic store near me. Or do I? And I know I’m not the only one who’s gotten sucked down a rabbit hole of information looking for that one thing. However, the speaker warned, this phenomenon gives us the illusion that everyone thinks like we do, thus isolating us from people who think differently. Perhaps there’s something else even more important.
[tweetthis]We stop growing when we are in that echo chamber. Oh my, NO! [/tweetthis] We don’t think as critically because our opinions go unchallenged.
I took the “Do You Live in a Bubble Test?”
My efforts to listen, read, and watch a variety of media, helps me break out of the echo chamber.
What’s your score?
Why do I care? To paraphrase Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams: [tweetthis] If we want to transform our society, we must transform ourselves. Only with love can we change things.[/tweetthis]
I intended to tell you more about Reverend Williams, but alas, I am already too windy with my words. So until next Wednesday, here’s a photo.