Echo Chambers

Since I’m writing here about this and that (but a lot of politics), I find that I’m also finding other blogs on WordPress that do the same.  I think of politics as a hobby.  I read about it and discuss it a lot.  I use Feedly, Twitter and podcasts to keep up with the news.  I find that my feeds, twitter follows and podcasts tend to be people on my side of the political aisle.  I hear about the exploits of the Donald and Republicans in stories from my sources.  But I don’t really dive into the main Republican or conservative outlets because I just don’t find those sources interesting to read.  I guess this is my little bubble.

The one exception to my bubble, in the past, has been Facebook.  I used to actively search out conservative friends (real and the FB variety) and try to engage in discussions/arguments about the topic of the day.  What I found, with few exceptions, was people in their own bubble.  But not just that.  I found people who are angry.  Angry at whatever thing we were arguing about.  I also found a lack of interest in actual discussion.  When I would intrude into their bubble, the anger would turn to me or to liberals or to Democrats.  Throw in a little whataboutism (yeah, but Obama did it too) and you’ve got a real un-fun cesspool.  I finally just un-friended or un-followed those folks, stopped visiting those nasty threads, and my life was better for it.

Before you say something, I know there are probably places with similarly unfriendly liberals who engage in name-calling and ad hominem attacks.  But that hasn’t been my experience.  I’ve probably curated my bubble to the point that I don’t see some of that on my side.  I’ll grant that.  I do want to hear commentary and analysis and want to engage with people who talk policy.  I think the cesspool is worse on the Right.  I doubt you can convince me otherwise, but I’m not going to spend too much time fighting over that question.  Agree to disagree.

That brings us to today.  I started writing here and, since I was writing on politics, I started engaging with commenters.  I also figured, maybe the level of discourse in this place, where people actively choose to engage in writing, would be better.  That I could get into discussions about immigration or the President’s awful…everything.  That hasn’t been my experience.  I sought out pro-Trump blogs and got the same experience I had on FB.  The things Trump is doing.  Dems did it first or worse or it’s their fault he’s doing it.  And, rather than engage with the questions I asked, the commenters went after me.  When I read through posts with lots of comments, it was a bubble.  “yeah, you said it.  Great point.”  I was blocked from commenting on one blog.  It’s not personal they said.  You’re just not saying anything we haven’t heard before.  This was a blog where the 10-15 commenters on one post were unanimous in agreement with the writer’s oh so astute observation about how Trump’s tweets were not racist.  I was also asked to quit commenting on another blog because I was “clogging” her comment sections.  This was on a post where there was one other commenter besides me.  And that commenter said, “awesome, [writer’s name]!”

I’m just not that interested in trolling around and commenting “Hallelujah!” on like-minded blogs.  So I guess I’ll keep looking and trying to find rational conservative or Pro-Trump blogs where they’ll actual engage in some discussion.  If nothing else, at least I can visit and discuss with @profmondo at his site.

3 thoughts on “Echo Chambers

  1. The piece was about modern feminism and the women’s rights movement, you came in and immediately made it about “white”ness. But I’m the big bad guy for asking you to please stop clogging my comments with your silly race-bating, haha, right. Apathy is an illness.

    1. OK, here’s my entire comment where you say I made it about “white”ness. For context…”As a 50-something white male, I’m not going to get into a back and forth with a woman about women’s rights, but it doesn’t seem that controversial to me to say that women should have the same rights as men. I am genuinely confused by your second to last paragraph, since it seems like those are pretty much settled as rights that people have, regardless of gender. Care to elaborate?”

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