The Wrong of Being Right: Three Tips for Life Outside Your Information Bubble
Life Outside Your Information Bubble
The like minded have gathered to celebrate their singularity since the beginning. Fans rally behind heroes, political junkies stake out positions while dog people and cat people stare at the other unable to fathom the attraction.
We circle our mental wagons, gaze inward and draw strength. We wallow in our sameness, our rightness, without distraction or contradiction. In our group we can agree, stay focused and be right. Right – what a wonderful word, so delicious, so satisfying. Tell me I’m right and I’ll love you forever.
Agreement is chocolate for the mind. And don’t we deserve it? After all we are stressed, we work hard, we are worthy and [insert imagined hurt here] made me feel bad. Good people like me deserve to feel this way.
Mental self pleasure – where’s the harm? None, if you know your limits. But, in today’s on demand world we have the tools to curate a personal space free from contradiction. Who has time for commercials, that news story, those people. I’m busy. I don’t want to hear about that.
Suddenly a curated life becomes an information bubble where nothing new gets in. We remain distracted by the sameness, focused on our pet causes and hurts, while we starve our curiosity to death.
That’s not you. You’re as open minded as the next person. I hear that. But how can you be sure when everyone around you shares your point of view. The bigots are out there, we say. We can spot one. They’re never in the mirror. We know better than that.
Armed, now with the awareness to break our personal information bubble, how do we proceed? Here are three tips to get you going:
1) Awareness – There is a bubble admit it. As they say in the twelve step programs the first step is admitting you have a problem. Each of us sees the world in our own unique way. That’s a blessing to be shared. The trick is to understand how your view point is being formed. Take note of what you’re reading, avoiding and preaching. What conclusions to you find yourself jumping to? Bring mindfulness to replace the knee jerk of reactions.
2) Take Field Trips – visit the “enemy” on their turf once each day. Read an article from an paper you don’t normally read. Just listen at the water cooler for ten minutes. Visit a new spot for a quick lunch. If you feel that you’re slumming it odds are you’re in the right place. Our ego is good at protecting us. Sent your ego on a coffee run and just absorb.
3) Listen – Open yourself up to what’s being said. Don’t critique. A review is not required. You don’t have to agree you just have to listen openly and with respect. Even a poor argument can be a great teacher. You may be surprised. You cannot learn if you do not listen. Listening isn’t reacting so try to keep emotion out of it.
Bring these three tips into play for a few moments each day and watch for the results. Go crazy! Let the vegans dine with the ranchers, the right with the wrong and maybe, just maybe the world grow a bit brighter in all of our eyes.