Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Echo chambers

I find myself thinking about echo chambers often.  The last couple of weeks have been bringing home to me how very unhealthy they are for us as individuals, but also as a society.

One of my friends was recently recounting a meetup for therapists he attended that had a large number of people from the same geographic area in the same profession who were all echoing the same concern that something was missing from the field.  My friend was astounded at how often these people echoed each other but also failed to grasp that the answer to their concern was shockingly simple: it's time to start talking about intersections of race, class, and gender.  

A few days before this conversation, I was listening to someone else make unhealthy choices with the support of her echo chamber.  Because their viewpoints were all too similar, they were missing just how messed up things sounded to everyone else.

We've all seen how media outlets have begun to tailor their reporting to their perceived audience, and how that bias is straining relationships between groups.  A lack of diversity in thought is polarizing, misleading, and disruptive.

I'm trying to challenge myself to look for the echo chambers in my life.  Without any challenge to my thought processes, I'm afraid of becoming both intellectually lazy, but also callous to the concerns and needs of others.  I'm afraid of withering from spiritual malnutrition caused by a too homogenous environment that lacks the strength that comes from adaptation.

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