1. Remember you do not have to be, and in fact cannot be, an expert on all things.
2. Unsubscribe, Unfollow Uninstall
3. Reduce crap content so your brain has more room for the good stuff.
You won’t see Samantha Bee host a smart conservative for her audience to take seriously. Deliberating with a GOP rep who has a valuable point to make on behalf of their party doesn’t make good infotainment. Instead, these shows share the most bizarre policy proposals and laughable public statements from the opposing side. Sure, there’s Meet the Press, but infotainment is way more fun to watch and more sharable on social media, where more people are getting their news.
We know by now how the internet works as an echo chamber. Then, many of us actively curate our social media feeds and are quick to click Unfollow when acquaintances offend us (guilty 🙋🏻).
Finding balance in our media diets mean actively incorporating reliable sources with beliefs opposing our own. This isn’t about following hateful meme accounts or reading the comment sections from hell. It’s about finding a few people or organizations who use reliable facts and their own logic to present a view different from your own.
I asked myself, ‘What’s a right-leaning news source I trust as reliable, if not relatable?’ and came up blank. A quick search brought me to this Guardian article, So you want to get out of your bubble: try reading these conservative websites. Yes, I did just share my Google result with you–this is a communal journey, people.
I did remember a time I read the Heritage Foundation‘s proposal for an alternative to the ACA*. I didn’t agree, but I was able to engage with their argument in an intelligent manner. That’s what we’re going for. But I’ll admit, this single example I could muster was 6 years old, and assigned to me during my graduate program. Yikes.
I believe that exposing myself to smart (enough) approaches from other ideologies presents more opportunities for productive dialogue.
But we’re keeping it sustainable here! We’re not talking about engaging across viewpoints yet. For now, take this baby step by spending a few minutes to find some sources you can stomach on the ‘other side’–whatever that side might be.
Pray tell–what sources do you follow for the sake of cracking open your echo chamber?
*This proposal is all kinds of long but Heritage has tons of 3-5 minute reads that could be more easily integrated into your media diet.