Staff Editorial: Avoid echo chambers at all costs
One part of being human is giving into personal biases even when trying to receive news. This instinct makes us want to listen to things that we agree with and condemn the things we don’t.
There’s a term for surrounding yourself with people who do not challenge your views: an echo chamber.
Social media is one of the most fertile places for echo chamber to form. Why acknowledge the fact that anything you believe in has an opposing side when you don’t have to hear that opinion? It’s tempting to just stick to the information that is easier to digest.
By closing yourself off to opposition — through who you follow on Twitter, which organizations you join and where you choose to live — you miss the other half of everything that happens. There are two sides to every story, and some outlets do a better job of telling one side of a story than reporting on both sides equally and objectively.
Now that information travels at high speeds and becomes old news in less time than ever before, it is important to listen to all sides of the story before developing your own opinions on the topic.
Diversity is a good quality to have in your news sources. The more angles you seek out on a topic, the more well-rounded your views on it become. You can hear what you agree with and also hear the point of view that you do not agree with and take their side of the argument into account.
After reading this, follow a news source you typically ridicule. Follow President Donald Trump on Twitter if you didn’t vote for him and are always critical of what he has to say. If you like to get your news from Fox or the National Review, try watching CNN or NBC as well.
More importantly, after you have balanced out your media bias, try to follow wire services that are either foreign or highly respected, such as the Associated Press or Reuters.
Echo chambers are dangerous. Do yourself a favor — read, watch and listen to news from sources you disagree with along with your usual outlets, or try to follow more objective news sources.