“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” ~Evelyn Beatrice Hall
Lately, a lot of us have seen now more than ever the polarizing rifts that can happen between friends, family, and even just acquaintances.
Politics, religion, turmoil, and any other happenings seem to bring out the strongest of responses in anyone. Of course, opinion voiced online is often that much stronger and so much more unfiltered than anything in person. Social media seems to exacerbate rifts.
I take pride in my management of my online presence, and my network.
I work in Social Media, and in Law Enforcement – of course, I have to be particular.
My network? It’s rather diverse. In person and online, I am connected to many people with varied geographic, political, social, religious, and etc. persuasions.
Yesterday, though I did find myself unfriending a Facebook “friend” because I simply could not be associated with what they were saying, doing, and apparently believing – I wouldn’t normally (un)pick my Facebook connections on a political leaning but I simply must look out for myself personally, professionally, and my sanity as a whole.
I am constantly reminded of something that my floppy haired, bouncy-walking friend, Justin Kownacki talked about some time ago – “Social Media Goggles”. He probably doesn’t even remember, but the general gist is that who you follow, your friends, and interests online can have more than a tendency to strengthen your political and societal and other leanings.
The more you like of what you like, the less you’re exposed to anything else and therefore channel yourself more and more.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other platform algorithms still don’t allow for much variance in your online diet because they like to show you what you know and what you like, right? They need to keep you interested, and your familiarity is your interest.
This is why it’s good to have variance among your Facebook friends/online network, and what you’re served online – or is it?
In the real world, you try to align yourself with people who will benefit you, who will influence you and your life positively. Naturally, these people have similar interests with you – that is simply human nature.
So, what’s the difference between filtering your interactions online and in person? Should you “goggle” yourself? Should you use blinders and focus on what interests you and what is positive? Where’s the line between being focused and being diverse? What’s the difference between “diverse” and “open minded”?
How do you decide? Do you vary your online diet or do you just stick with who and what you know?