Echo Chambers are Deafening

PrintSo… the longest presidential campaign of our lifetimes just ended.  Many were devastated.  Many feel that hope is on the way. Many were blind-sighted. Many were not.

More likely than not, if you are active on social media, your perspective on what the world is feeling is driven largely by the sentiments shared in your social media feed(s).

We’ve seen platforms for self-expression become ubiquitous over the past decade, as social media has played a more dominant role in our daily lives.  Platforms like Facebook, twitter, snapchat, and Instagram give easily accessible soapboxes for us to share our perspectives and ‘hear’ and see what our friends, family, and influencers are thinking and doing.

A feed of hundreds or even thousands of different voices can provide so many perspectives that it’s easy to feel like our social accounts are giving us a clear understanding of what the nation, or even the world is feeling.

But they’re not.  They’re not even close.

We’ve chosen a biased sample of reality.

As social channels mature and the accumulation of our social media communities has now happened over the course of, at this point, several years, it’s easy to forget that we’ve selected the voices we hear.  We’ve curated our world.

And as surprisingly dissonant voices emerge in our safe, curated communities, with a swift click of the unfollow or unfriend button, that voice is silenced and discarded.

But just because we no longer hear it, it doesn’t mean it no longer exists.  And it doesn’t make it irrelevant.

In short, we must be mindful of the samples we use to gauge perspective.  While it’s comforting to hear from people who think like you and love you (or your brand), remember you’re likely to learn just as much, if not more from those who don’t.