Political bubbles will trap you, but unlike a soap bubble, which easily pops when touched, the material is made out of thick, suffocating plastic.
Staying within the boundaries of one such political bubble will ultimately cause harm to an individual and the world they live in. It may not be harm that is directly seen or felt, but it is unconscious, narrow, and more often than not, misunderstood.
Human nature is to want to feel included, to want to feel like they belong in a community of people that share similar values and beliefs. It is how societies are built and cultures are formed. People lived and died by their culture or religion and that was probably the only thing they’d ever known.
We don’t have to do that anymore. There are a multitude of viewpoints and stories and news that we, especially in first world countries, have access too. There is no excuse for only consuming one flow of information now that we have computers, tablets, smartphones, radios, television, newspapers… The news cycle is continuous, and we should be constantly learning how to broaden our scope of the world and events that happen around us.
And when I say news, I don’t just mean rando Facebook articles that are specifically meant to agree with your bubble (i.e. false or half-true articles) or get a rise out of you to comment, share, and make the article become viral all the while spreading lies that misinform people.
Freddy Cardoza from Biola University says that being uninformed means being gullible.
Being uninformed means you can be susceptible to accepting something that may not be entirely true. Places like Reuters, AP, NPR, ABC, says Business Insider, are some of the most unbiased across the board; they deliver unbiased news while being easily accessible. Facebook news may be the most ubiquitous with its endless scrolling, but if you have a smartphone or computer, those four news sites are available to you and are free to read.
It is so, so imperative to read the news and stay informed. Accurate, unbiased news is so important in forming opinions. There are a many of reasons to stay informed: the 2020 presidential election, Trump-Ukraine, North Korea, mass shootings; these events call your attention and I beg you to listen. The world won’t stop because you don’t see what’s going on.
Political bubbles are vicious. And since we are human, we are fallible. I’ve talked to veteran journalists who’ve been in the business for years and they still fall for it. To stay informed with unbiased news is to make a conscious effort every day to get off those fake Facebook articles and read news that will broaden your scope of the world. It’s the next best thing to first-hand experiencing things.
I will conclude with this: Reading opinion pieces are okay. Having an opinion is okay. But what is more important is understanding each side of an event or tragedy and then forming your opinion. We need open minds now more than ever.