Episode #128: The Relationships We Pursue
The “what” is easy. Craftwork is a specialty coffee shop and vibrant membership-based workspace with locations in Fort Worth (Camp Bowie, Magnolia) and Austin (Domain). We serve craft coffee and are a connected coworking space. But you knew that already. Our “why” is our heart – we desire to create spaces and places where our members and customers experience connection and community.
Have you ever wondered why other people see things so differently than you do? We believe the answer to this question is found in reviewing the diversity of our connections.
According to Joan Blades and John Gable, co-founders of AllSides, our society is surrounded by their preferred opinions and lacks opportunities for healthy discourse. With social media algorithms and information filtering, we’re actually becoming more siloed in our beliefs than ever before.
AllSides is an organization focused on helping people understand each other by exposing them to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum. And, ironically, Blades and Gable are two people who, despite having very different political backgrounds, are friends.
The Relationships We Pursue: According to Gable, because of the rise and adoption of social media, we have become so inundated with information that we started relying on technology to filter it for us, only consuming the information we like and agree with. And while this may seem helpful in theory, it causes us to become more steadfast in our own beliefs and less accepting of those with different beliefs. Experts call this phenomenon a “filter bubble”.
Filter bubbles are likely a root of increased polarization in our society. Media headlines, Facebook statuses, and Tweets are often presented as absolute fact. And according to Blades, “we can’t even have a conversation or do collaborative problem-solving when we don’t share the same facts.”
So how do we overcome filter bubbles? First, we have to teach ourselves that filter bubbles don’t just happen through information sharing – they happen through our relationships and social circles as well. Because of this, we should seek to diversify the relationships we pursue.
We should be seeking out others of different ages, locations, ethnicities, and political views to become friends with. It’s easier to grow in empathy which leads to understanding when we have conversations with people we care about. From there, with our filter bubble pierced, we can reflect and take action.
Exposing ourselves to diverse information and people can help us become a more understanding, less divided society. What steps will you take today to pierce your filter bubble?