My husband and I were super excited to receive a note from a friend saying that one of Lee’s songs was trending on the top of Spotify. Lee checked his account, and it said the same thing. Woohoo! That is until we realized that it was only because our friend listens to his music regularly, like we do. We were only seeing our own bubble.
This is a problem. The internet tracks our interests so carefully that we are insulated in a bubble of our own making. It’s a never-ending feedback loop. No wonder we are all so polarized. There seems to be no end in sight for this pattern – and it is dangerous.
Here are some thought about why this is a problem and what to do about it. See what you think.
THE NATURE OF POLARITY
You know the Law of Polarity. It says that everything has it’s opposite. There is good and bad, light and dark, hot and cold and so on. They co-exist on a continuum and for any one topic we tend to move back and forth between them. It’s unusual and unhealthy to stay in one place at one end continually.
But on the internet and with the selection of online outlets, we are constantly refining our choices so we only see more of what we liked last. We are rarely shown the full picture with both sides of the continuum being shown. We’ve gotten so used to being in this place of constant self-reinforcement that we shun the other side. We find it’s uncomfortable. I’m guilty too.
BALANCE IS IN THE MIDDLE
We need to wake up and remember that balance is in the middle. The middle way gives us the understanding of both sides. If you don’t know the dark or cold, you cannot appreciate the quality of heat and light. It’s the contrast the helps us value and understand the other side. Being aware of the balanced perspective keeps us calm and level – it makes us wise.
It’s the wisdom of a balanced perspective that is sorely lacking these days. When you only see and hear one side, every encounter with the other is an affront to the senses. It’s like living in the dark and suddenly having the lights turned on or going from summer to artic weather. You can’t process or assimilate it – you simply react. And react we do; we overreact to everything.
UNDERSTAND THE OTHER SIDE
The solution is not easy – it means we need to reach out and understand the other side. When you understand the other perspective, it puts things in perspective. You can pick and choose; you can move around a little more between the polarities.
The problem, of course, is both sides are presented in their most extreme version. It’s hard not to react. When I was first listening to music, every kind of style of music was heard on the radio. Now each station specializes in specific types, and we’ve trained ourselves to not like what we don’t listen to. We’ve become very comfortable with our polarization. It will take a conscious decision to understand what the other side is saying.
FIND YOUR OWN MIDDLE GROUND
If you are with me on this concern, then let’s agree to start exploring a little more. Listen to new music, turn on the other news channel, read what is being said. And use your own polarization filter. You know everything is being ramped up to create a strong reaction.
The truth is somewhere in the middle. It’s time to take responsibility to decipher the truth. You have to learn to find your own middle ground. It will make you clearer and more certain of your own truth. You won’t be a parrot anymore – you will be wiser.
Have you had an experience that makes you aware that you are stuck in a bubble of your own making? Pay attention to it and realize the nature of the polarity you are in. Recognize that balance is in the middle and start learning what the other side is about. Then find your own middle ground. You will be stronger, clearer and wiser for it.
Is this something you would like to explore more? Knowing your own mind is important. If you’d like support, reach out, My Transformational coaching and therapy provides support for this kind of exploration. Go to www.spectrumtransformation.com and use my Free Consultation link to reach me. I’m happy to help.