It is only natural that we all live in our own little news bubble. Opinions we hear tend to be like ours, and the result is an echo chamber repeating what we already know.
However, knowing that you live in a bubble, and trying to be aware of other bubbles, is key to empathizing with others. You have to know what people think, and why they think it, if you want to have hope of having a constructive conversation.
How did we get here?
How we grow our bubbles seems pretty logical. Our friends, family, and neighbors share what information and news that they know. They share with us their own opinions, and you can’t help but be influenced by that.
Other people, with differing views, might live far away, or you don’t come into contact with them. For instance, they might be separated from you geographically, or socioeconomically, or politically.
How you get out of a your own news silo, or expand it, is a little less clear. For example, you might seek out other news sources, or think about what voices are missing among your friends and family, and try to add them. This is not easy.
Unfortunately, the current environment makes it even harder. As a society, we are growing ever more polarized. Entire counties and even states are deemed to be one type of political party. In addition, the wealth gap continues to grow. Compromise is seen as a dirty word, rather than a way to find common ground.
Despite the difficulty, it can be very rewarding. It is possible to understand what fears people have. Why they spend, vote, and act the way that they do. Once you know this, it will be easier to address these concerns and win them over.
Moreover, you can’t expect others to step outside their bubble if you aren’t willing to do it yourself.
None of this, though, can be done if you don’t understand the bubble that you inhabit. After all, do you know your internal biases and assumptions? Is it a priority of yours to know people who disagree with you? What is your bubble?
Related questions: How can we encourage meaningful conversation? How do you know who to trust? What are you doing to make the world a better place? How can we become better listeners? What is necessary to change your mind?