Have you ever changed your mind about a topic you felt so strongly for in the past? Have you ever believed the “wrong” point of view or perspective? If you have, do not be embarrassed. This isn’t something to shy away from but to be proud of. Expanding your horizons can be extremely beneficial to yourself and to many others as well. There is more opportunity for growth, and you become more knowledgeable and enlightened along the way. This is especially true in politics and media bias. This is similar to the parable of the three blind men who find an elephant, something they had never encountered before. Each man finds a different part and therefore has a different experience. They correctly describe the part they touched but without sharing their experience, they do not have a complete view of the elephant. Similarly, we need to explore all sides of the story before we see the picture in its entirety. Being an individual with a new outlook on something can stop friends, families, and colleagues from becoming echo chambers.
The Effects of Varying the Media You Consume
Echo chambers occur when all the people you speak to, the media you consume, and any other ways you get information have and share the same political perspective again and again. This can create the issue of repeating the same information with no alternative perspectives. When this happens the same situations provide narrow thinking and limited alternate possibilities, causing people to feel extremely confident and strong about their own perspectives. The one-sided story of an echo chamber can oftentimes result in sharing the wrong information or an extremely warped version of the truth, stemming from media bias. It limits exposure to necessary variations in perspective and forms a reinforced shared narrative. With today’s access to media, news, and everything really there is a multitude of ways to expose yourself to diverse thoughts.
There are many ways to prevent yourself from becoming an echo chamber within your community. Visiting various news sites, purposely viewing articles that you do not necessarily agree with, and discussing with people who have alternate beliefs, opinions, and perspectives. All of these can be overwhelming if you expose yourself to too many at once. So start small. Use Biasly Side by Side View, a political side-by-side comparison of left, moderate, and conservative biases on the same topic. Use sources that are simple and informative, that will allow you to branch out, and educate yourself, and others. Biasly Side by Side shows not only where an article falls on the Liberal, Moderate, and Conservative scale, but also presents the option to look at all three perspectives on the same topic. Learn the keywords, and language each perspective uses to sway its readers, the details the writers choose to leave out, and how any statistics are portrayed. Taking the time to read multiple media perspectives and learn how to differentiate between said perspectives will greatly improve your ability to be impartial, and consider alternative views.