There is no shortage of opinions and “facts” flying around on social media. What you consume, and how often you consume it, can have a big impact on how you view the world, and yourself. It’s important to be aware of what and how much of the same opinion you are being exposed to if you have any hope of being objective and forming your opinions in a mindful way.
Lisa Mitchell, Communications Expert & Founder of Power Body Language, shares how we can get out of the “echo chamber” of social media:
1) Be aware of your own confirmation bias
Confirmation bias is the idea that once you have an opinion or position on a topic, you are actively seeking out and attaching to things that support your opinion or position. Basically, if it supports what you already think, you accept it as correct and valid. By only looking for and accepting that which supports your point of view, you are limiting the opportunity to thoughtfully consider the other or different view of the subject. If everything you see aligns perfectly with your own opinion and point of view, it’s time to start looking for objective material.
2) Understand that the more you search for or engage with a topic or point of view on social media, the more if that gets fed to you (thanks algorithms!)
In the attempt to fill your feed with more of what platforms think you like so you spend more time using them, they are always collecting information on what you look at, search for, and engage with and pushing more and similar content to you. This can be convenient if you’re researching mattress options or comparing new car models, but when it comes to opinions, political, or other more contentious topics, it doesn’t take long to get tunnel vision via your social feeds.
You have to be very intentional about seeking objective and counter-opinion sources and information if you hope to get a balance of information to become the norm on your social platforms.
3) Intentionally Consume Material From A Diverse Collection of People and Sources
Knowing that the things that just show up in your social feed and online are targeting you and most likely are placed in support of your existing opinions, searches, and engagement, it’s important to make a practice of seeking out diverse sources of information and interacting a cross-section of the population with diverse opinions and experiences. Listen to podcasts hosted by people with different opinions or ideals, read books by authors that have very different backgrounds than you do, watch a news channel that has the slant of the opposite political party than the one you normally align with. Keep an open mind as you consume different media and points of view and allow yourself to you thoughtfully consider views that are different than your own.
Visit www.powerbodylanguage.com or connect on Instagram at @lisamitchellindy.