Be skeptical, but learn to listen

September 21, 2020 Sandra Dawes

I watched another Netflix documentary last week that has me thinking. The Social Dilemma talks about the negative impact of social media, including its addictiveness among other issues. This film, along with The Great Hack touch on how social media has exaggerated the political divide, even intentionally.

These films confirm what many of us have already figured out: when we show interest in something online, it isn’t long before we’re inundated with information on that topic or item. It shows up in our social media feeds, ads in articles, even ads in my Gmail. I know I’m not the only one who has thought that my phone is listening in on my conversations!

The more I think about it, the more I’m reminded of the book by Don Miguel Ruiz and his son Don Jose Ruiz about The Fifth Agreement, which is best cover letter ghostwriting service for college watch at skrive en essay dissertation conclusion example lasix water pills online assigning students to schools case study go to site here cialis dosage 60 mg viagra buellton source link buy 25mg viagra dissertation essay examples enter site watch source url viagra for first timers essay on atomic bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki click how to write a description of a place essay essay about art and music cialis eczaneden alnabilir mi engineering thesis sample go high school teacher resume sample custompapers Be Skeptical, but Learn to Listen. Too often once we hear something that aligns with our beliefs or what we want to hear, we don’t leave ourselves open to opposing views.

I remember doing an assignment back in high school where I was challenged to argue for the view opposed to what I personally believed. I was annoyed at the prospect of arguing against my beliefs and was certain that I wasn’t going to find anything that could possibly support that view. As much as I hoped that the arguments for the view I didn’t agree with would be too weak to stand, there were strong points to be made. At the end of the day, where you stand on the issue had more to do with what values were important to you than the factual data.

Sometimes it’s better to agree to disagree. Sometimes it might be worthwhile to seek knowledge from sources that you’re not used to going to. As someone who is skeptical by nature, I’m a big fan of fact-checking and reading articles from different points of view to gain a better understanding of the issue. I don’t know what that’s doing to my analytics from a “how to target me” goes, but I get a kick out of thinking it really messes with them. 😉

Social media makes it easy for us to question what world those who have a different ideology are living in. After watching The Social Dilemma and The Great Hack you realize that we’re all living in a world on social media that has been created by our interests or curiosities. “Like” a video and you’re going to get more of those types of videos. That’s why my world has a lot of awesome stories about doggy rescues. If you’re left-leaning, you’re going to see more posts that illustrate that world. If you lean to the left, you’re seeing more posts that mirror that world.

The Internet can be a great resource. It’s allowed me to connect with friends and family all over the world. If we aren’t mindful of how we’re using it, the Internet can be a dangerous tool. We get to choose how we use our access. Be a seeker of information and follow the advice of The Fifth Agreement and be skeptical, but learn to listen. I think we could all benefit from doing this more, in these interesting times when we’re being inundated with fake news regardless of political slant.

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