Rafe (etcet) wrote,
Rafe
etcet

In Defense of Insularity

Periodically, some wag will pen yet another epistle against how people curate their own echo chambers on social media - citing the unfriending or unfollowing of people with different views on the bookface, most commonly, or, for the less social-media savvy, decrying the splintering of cable news into slanted offerings.

The latter criticism, I agree with - news should be presented with as little inflection and as much context as possible, so that viewers and consumers can draw their own conclusions and perform their own analysis, not be spoon-fed some pre-digested opinion like so many baby birds gulping down gizzard emissions. (I say this, not as some kind of pure and unbiased scion of journalistic objectivity, by the way - I enjoy the occasional episode of The Daily Show, used to tune into Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” for a nightly dose of righteous indignation and schadenfreude, would happily body-check anyone who gives Rachel Maddow a hard time, and who finds the Fox News Channel odious); I am subjected to eight or so hours of mercifully-muted CNN coverage on a monitor at my workplace, and it’s a case study in how not to provide depth and insight. My preferred information source is the ecru wallpaper of American broadcast journalism, NPR.

As to the former, I think that it misses the point - people are not, generally, on social media for the primary purpose of being news consumers, necessarily - many of us use it as an escape, a sanctuary, a half-step away from the nine million stressors and flavors of shit the world throws at us constantly; having boundaries and self-selected safe spaces is a self-defense mechanism, and nobody should be made to feel bad for having them.

People can, and should, have a place where comfortable agreeableness is the rule, rather than the exception.
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  • 3 comments
Yep!
I think the main issue for Facebook etc. for me is that they actively make it hard for you to look at content from everyone you know and weight it all towards those who you interact with most often, with the aim of increasing your eyeball-hours on the site. It's not that you effectively get an island of content within an archipelago - that's fine - but that the system is designed to present your island as if it's a continent.
TRUTH. I have never once woken up and thought, "hey, why don't I go to a place where I can see cute cat pictures, talk to all my friends, AND ARGUE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT WOMEN DESERVE EQUAL RIGHTS."

I'll take my pie *without* a big scoop of shit on top, thanks.