In the Internet age, we end up with the Internet Me, a personal news source where we only hear people who think the same way that we do.
It has gotten me thinking about my own situation. Let's look at the news sources I consume. I use iGoogle where I have 4 news feed widgets, but 3 of them are from the same news source, the CBC. I also listen to CBC radio and watch the CBC national news. Not a lot of diverse view points there. Living in a smaller town (Penticton, population approx. 20,000) I have limited choices when it comes to radio; it's CBC, a few cheesy local stations and sometimes I can get NPR. My choices with television news are equally limited since we went cable/satelight free 3 years ago (that's another post in itself). It becomes clear to me that I need to diversify with my internet news feeds, because that is where I really have choice. I may not agree with the view point of certain media outlets, but they offer an insight into what other folks are thinking about current events.
In Michele Martin's recent post Living in a Blogging Box and How to Get Out of It she talks about how easy it is to end up with limited viewpoints:
The problem with blogging in our comfort zones, though, is that we narrow the possibilities for learning and creativity that come from exposing ourselves to new and different perspectives. If I stay in the edu-blogger community or the technology community of bloggers, with little contact with anyone else, it's easy to get sucked into the sort of group-think that naturally evolves when any community of people comes together.
As a newbie blogger, I built up my blog subscriptions as one might expect. I'd find some influencial blogs, in my case Clay Burell's Beyond School and Sue Waters' Mobile Technology in TAFE. If their posts linked to other blogs I would check them out, and if I liked them, I would subscribe. I'd also read the comments after their posts and if I liked what someone wrote, I'd check them out and maybe start subscribing to them. What I'm finding now is that I'm often reading the same people. I might be reading Dean Shareski's blog, but many of the people commenting are already in my feed reader, which isn't surprising considering how I got my subscriptions.
I've also noticed that with most of the blogs I read that there are very few dissenting opinions in the comments. Notice I didn't say no dissenting views. So my strategy on subscribing to blogs is letting me down in that I'm not being exposed to alternate views. This is not to say that I'm not learning a lot--I am!
My goal for the next few weeks is move from my 'Me Vision' to 'We Vision'. I'm going to add some different media outlets to my news reader. I'm also going to follow some of Michele Martin's suggestions and try to diversify my blog subscriptions with the help of Google Alerts and StumbleUpon. Hopefully I'll avoid group think and possibly get more exposure for my blog :-)
Are you concerned that your 'world view' is too narrow? Are you seeing the downsides of 'Internet Me'? What are you doing to expand your vision? I'd love to hear your strategies.
Image: Day 296: Boxed In by Mrs. Maze