Echo Chambers

Echo Chambers

In a follow up to my last post, this will be the final time I write about such heartburn inducing topics for a while now. I know I usually place focus on less heavy subject matter and I want to return to that. This is simply the product of me clearing out the final remnants of dusty jargon from the back of my mind.

It may seem astounding to most, is the fact that statistically, politically, racially and economically speaking, we are currently living in the most peaceful era of civilization. It goes without saying that you can’t have quiet without noise, and you can’t have peace without unrest. I like to bounce around between different social media sites online, and what seems pretty disturbing is that no matter where you go, you don’t have to look far for drama these days. I use the term drama lightly here, as sort of a blanket statement to refer to anything from full-blown arguments, aggravated harassment and the demand for people to be stripped of their livelihoods, to technocratic disputes, favoritism and what seems like an affinity for socio-tribal warfare. Why the hell is everybody so damn angry?

I don’t need to tell you, my wayward reader, that I am in no way qualified to analyze the behavior of anyone regarding anything. I’m not a psychologist or social scientist in any shape or form, but as a denizen randomer of the great wide internet, I too am able to formulate an opinion on the matter.

It is my belief that, whereas the modern mainstream media are habitually fanning the flames of any slightly controversial topic to tilt things in the favor of their narratives, it is the general populous’ susceptibility to this manipulation that leads them down a path of self-righteousness and anger towards each other. If you recurrently tell any group of people that every one else is against them, they will set reason aside and believe it to be so.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not only pointing the finger at the media. I’m well aware that we’re only staring at one part of the river and that the source has to start somewhere. I’m also well aware that I’m not referring to every person on the internet, as this does appear to be the vocal minority, but I’ll be damned if the vocal minority isn’t vocal. I know that most people are very capable of making their own decisions and drawing their own conclusions, I’m not calling people mindless zombies. All I’m trying to state is that, you don’t get smoke without fire.

Divisiveness, narcissism and victimization are all qualities that seem to be almost fetishised online. Group identification idolized over individualism, pathological altruism and the desire voice your sanctity among your peers instead of actually rising up to your personal responsibilities. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone do something nice to help out a homeless person without having a ”selfie-stick” extended from their arm, all so that they can try to quench their thirst for online approval, instead of just doing it because its the right thing to do. Too many people worrying about what others think of themselves rather thank thinking of others over themselves.

The internet isn’t a terrible place, it just depends where you go and who you choose to converse with or listen to. The same can be said about life, but the difference being, it’s very easy to unknowingly slip into a digital echo-chamber online and eventually train yourself to follow the herd beyond the realm of logical perspective. Especially nowadays, where the art of crafting a mountain out of a molehill has reached pinnacle ingenuity.

Hang around with a subset of like-minded people for too long and you’ll surely see yourself feeling pressured to slot into an ideology or trend in fear of being segregated from your peers. Please, albeit for an instant, entertain the fact that you no two human beings are alike and it is infinitely better for you to be you, than what anyone else tells you to be. If you find yourself feeling compelled to be crafted into yet another herd member, then I hope you retain the wherewithal to realize that you don’t have to align with anyone on everything.

Due to the fact that most any statement on the internet can be heard in mass numbers, its also easy to convince yourself that the sentiments you’re seeing online are the general consensus of everyone outside your window. It’s healthy to take a step back sometimes and view any situation from as many different angles as you can until you feel satisfied with whatever conclusion you draw.

Everyone wants to be heard and the internet allows people to be so, and I for one am thankful for that. This desire isn’t just a product of our time, as I’m positive that had such a platform been given to anyone at any point in history, they would have done the same. To quote a very wise man:

“If fish could talk, the ocean would be loud and shit.” - Mitch Hedberg

Thanks for reading,

More to come (but not like this).

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About AlmondWhite

I'm a coder, artist, writer and all round lazy person. I love Node.js, C#, Python, Sass, Electron and PHP. One day I will contribute to this world in a meningful way or something...

The Forest Somewhere https://medium.com/@almondwhite