Thursday, July 5, 2012

Quotation Of The Day: Echo Chamber Edition

From this John T. Spencer post:

I am quick to point out that social media seems to push people toward extreme echo chambers. I sort Facebook by relevance. I choose Twitter friends who are teachers. I blog about education. However, these echo chambers have always existed. Whether they were Rotary Clubs, churches, neighborhoods, political parties or social clubs, they were always echo chambers.
I'm still concerned about echo chamber. However, I'm beginning to see that an echo chamber is often simply a community with shared values. Often, echo chambers become  a place to hash out the nuance on shared ideas. We need a few homogeneous spaces to let us geek out about interests that we share with others. It is part of thinking deeply about a topic. True, they can get myopic. However, it takes a certain level of narrow-mindedness to delve deeply into an idea.

It isn't always a bad thing to connect with others based upon shared experiences, interests or values. It only becomes dangerous when it becomes the only definition of "normal" or when it turns tribalistic toward outsiders. So maybe the solution isn't to bash the group. If I want to make a difference, I need to enter into other echo chambers and ask questions, tell stories and challenge the presuppositions of each community.

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