During the General Elections in 2015, many of my friends were convinced that the ruling party would receive a sound thrashing at the polls.
So when it turned out that the opposite was true, many could not believe it.
The same thing happened in the U.S. Presidential Elections last year. Many of my friends were so confident that Hillary Clinton would emerge the victor.
So when Trump won, many could not believe it. And many still can’t grasp how he did it.
Part of the reason is that our social media feeds are how we get most of our information these days, and we unconsciously cultivate our feeds whenever we ‘like’, comment on or share posts that are aligned with our own beliefs and biases.
We might blame social media for skewing what we read, but really, we do it to ourselves. We don’t actively seek out opinions contrary to our own.
At least most of us don’t.
I consciously curate my social media feeds so as to obtain a balanced, moderate viewpoint. I follow influential people I disagree with, because I recognize that people I disagree with have valid points.
I believe no one has the full truth, and that the truth is the sum of multiple perspectives and more. I consciously strive to obtain multiple perspectives of issues.
Sometimes I go further to actively support viewpoints I disagree with, which helps me to analyse the perspective better.
Lately, I have had more time on my hands and have been using it to curate my Facebook feed.
First I remove all negativity. It doesn’t matter whether I agree or disagree with the viewpoints. So long as it produces a negative reaction within me, I unfollow them.
The world has enough negativity; I don’t need to let more breed.
Second, I seek out friends who I admire and read widely. I take a look at what they ‘like’, comment on and share, and pick a few of these to follow.
This lets me read from different perspectives.
Third, I try to keep following the feeds of close family members and friends. But this is third. If my close family and friends breed negativity in my news feed, they have to be pruned.
This is the social media bubble I build for myself.
It’s always going to be a bubble. The only question is whether you consciously built it or not.