Building an Echo Chamber

If you’re a well-meaning person the odds are that you’ve wondered if an echo chamber is a problem. You may have felt obliged to make sure you’re hearing what the haters and fascists amongst us are saying. How can you be a good person if you aren’t open minded, aren’t listening to difference, aren’t open to other opinions?

This is something I’ve talked about before. It is possible to experience diversity and difference without engaging with hate. Exposure to diverse thinking is good for us. Hate isn’t.

We are all deeply affected by our environments. It’s a massive influence on our psychological development as we grow up. As adults we may think we’re immune to what’s around us, but this isn’t necessarily so. That which becomes normal to us will shape our choices and behaviour. Even if that means we come to feel that donating to foodbanks and seeing homeless people in the streets, is normal.

Human minds are quite fragile, easily influenced and easily damaged. We all have enough ego not to want to believe that. We all want to think we are strong, free-thinking individuals who would not be sucked in to something vile. The odds are, if you’re reading this then you’d picture yourself in Nazi Germany helping Jews escape and working with the resistance. You would not picture yourself at a rally screaming in ecstasy at Hitler. Environments can be intoxicating. From the playground onwards, our desire to belong and be part of something can distort our identities and shape our behaviour.

Having had my reality broken, I am uncomfortably aware of how fragile my mind is. My mind is desperately fragile.

It may be that exposure to hate and misery does not make us want to join up with the haters. It may instead grind us down, making us feel powerless and like there’s no point doing anything. We may be overwhelmed with grief, or rage, or frustration. We may turn on the haters and hate back with all the vitriol we can muster. All of these things mean that what we’ve been exposed to is impacting on us.

One of the ways in which you can protect your own mental health, is by making careful choices about what you expose yourself to. Most of the time, most of us do that. You may, for example, have already made the decision not to watch violent pornography. You may have chosen not to go to Trump rallies. I imagine you wouldn’t go to a bull fight, or an abattoir, or to take a holiday in a war zone or disaster area. When things are large scale and obvious, we are often better at recognising the threat and keeping away. It’s the smaller, everyday nasties that we can persuade ourselves we ought to engage with. We should be informed. Educated. Aware.

Turning away from everything is no kind of answer. Pick your fights and causes. Be prepared to know about and take on a few issues you can manage. Raise awareness without traumatising people. No one, for example, needs to see images of animal abuse in order to sign petitions. It is not your duty to know about every terrible thing going on in the world. It is not necessary to listen with compassion to every troll and every hater you encounter.

It is ok to choose to live in an echo chamber. It is ok to choose to protect your mental health so that you can continue to make your contributions. It is ok to choose not to know about everything. Often it is better to focus on taking care of what you love, rather than being paralysed by things you can do nothing about.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

6 responses to “Building an Echo Chamber

  • Michael Peterson

    Thank you. This is good wisdom.

  • Jill

    Thank you for putting this into words it is exactly what I have been experiencing. As a result, I have had to unsubscribe from some websites as they were so upsetting and I would feel so helpless and it was heartbreaking.

  • eberis

    Haiters we say are the group who chose opposite of the positive thought and ignored the mental health of someone who became so tired of being overlooked the person had a relapse of positive opposite and the opposed folks decided to specifically give a health policy or mental health problem to the person who is doing most of the raucous protest . is the person being ignored in society and thereby causing a disturbance at fault or is it the haiters who cause it and ignore it so it will be a common occurance ? the example in your understanding of mentality and stability is msn had an article about Trump Potus being so unstable he or his imposer ordered an airstrike that killed the general command of Iran who took up protest and rallied about starting a nuclear strike . msn blatantly tagged it Is This WW3 beginning ? when you haight on someone you are ignoring them and harassing them to a point of ignored madness . when a haiter specifically had an order from rally to harass a known Sanity Some person they are simply following the orders of a hait group . when the example of a hait group is nazi the aryan who is giving orders of the brink of sanity to the person who would be scapegoated to be the ullerate leader of WW3 as a full example is not minding the complaint often in thought but simply opining a drug and giving orders of harassment . in the modern aryan socialist movement it’s the equivalent of Disney working behind the scenes but not Conoco ; more like world domination . haiters gonna hait is how psychadelic terrorists say it . if the person being harassed is able to handle the brink or sanity in regard to the future of socialist uprising .. no WW3 . it’s polite aryan socialist movement fun for evil people . are you dealing with a person who had gone mad ¿ or a group who are harassing you in the aryan modern proletariat like a national naysayer harassed Trump to the point of 3 letter word we say , WAR … I remind you is a program format on the free software supported by the Republican administration before Trump . haitin’ ? is a form of embezzle and haitin’ buddy is a form of polite extortion . nothing else now . I am off soapbox unless your guiding principle is to form an entendre of the way of genetic future of the rightness of Al-Hadeed and then seek a CBD friendly cannabis dealer . Peace now .

  • zita666479

    I find your work very refresh!

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