Out of the bubble

I took a sneak peek at random people’s feeds on Twitter and what I learned.

In these complicated times where each and everyone’s opinion is as worthy as grand experts’, where each voice heard on the web counts as much as anyone’s and where we are all experts in our own way, Slate’s latest (French) newsletter made me realize I had created my own little information bubble.

As many, I hide so-called “friends” from my Facebook feed because I judge what they publish as stupid, or negative, or extreme — and I judge them for that too. I reject opinions that don’t comply with mine because I’m happier when I feel surrounded by people who are like me. I guess we all do that in some way.

It’s easier to drop a “like” on someone’s post than to start arguing in comments on why our opinions differ. That’s how I created my bubble. The people I follow on social media are people I feel close to and with whom I share opinions, point of views, values or tastes.

Social media has this extraordinary power to bring people together, but also to create clusters that don’t effectively communicate together or, when they do, troll each other for an hour and move apart without reflecting on what happened.

Reading some random person’s mind

Slate suggested trying FlipFeed.

It’s a simple extension offering you to read someone else’s feed on Twitter. It’s a different way to try to understand how others think and why they have opinions that are different from yours.

What I learned

  • @bonappetit is a great account. (I looked up FlipFeed during lunch time, so bear with me)
  • People are against everything, from overloading crudités with dip to Islam and the weather, all at the same time.
  • You can easily start judging someone by having a look at his or her feed.
  • In the same way, I feel you learn a lot of someone by looking at his or her feed.

Tell me who you follow and I’ll tell you who you are.

  • Even if some people seem to hate everyone, they also seem really funny too.
  • Immigrants can feel both concerned by what is going on in their home country and be revolted by what is happening where they live now.
  • Extremists can be cultivated. They are not always narrow-minded people with no education.
  • Dear twittosphere, please remember your tweets are public. I mean, really public. Anyone can read what you post. Thanks.
  • People with whom I can disagree on certain subjects, seem open to discussion.

I know I might sound cheesy and unequipped for the big wide world with these facts. Remember it’s just a couple of quick reflections on a lunch break. No harm intended what so ever.

After an hour of scrolling, here’s my take away :

  • People are passionate before anything else.
  • People are funny.
  • Stop limiting yourself to “likes” and start having real conversations with people on social media. Things change when people debate, not when they don’t give a shit.

Do the experiment!

Want to try it out?

If you have done this experiment, please share your thoughts on it in the comments below. 🙂