When I think about the filter bubble I have, I would say it’s a pretty small bubble, not because I am filtering so much out, but because I only actually pay attention to a relatively small amount of people. I am working on expanding it though by creating friendships and frankly, being more open about other people’s views. Although I would say that being raised in a small conservative environment has had some constrictions, I do like to hear other people’s point of view, as I learn a lot from other people’s perspectives. I am superb at not choosing a permanent side, and instead, enjoy being a spectator and seeing things from both sides. That being said, I have definitely been raised with people who were quite the opposite. The people I went to high school with were predominantly white, very religious, and held very conservative views, and many were VERY opinionated. I think I learned from seeing their endless rants on Facebook about politics and religion that I determined that I did not want to be that way. So I think because of that I haven’t really aired my opinions on Facebook, partially because I wouldn’t want the possibility of backlash, and partially because I’m a pretty private person.
After adding new friends to my profile In college, I started to see more posts that contained opposing viewpoints on Facebook from people they had grown up with/gone to school with. I met many people with views drastically different than the people I had grown up with. My upbringing has definitely impacted that way I think. Going to a small Lutheran school, where everyone is very conservative has made me a person with more conservative ideas, even if I don’t always like to admit it. One thing I recognized was that my mother held a very different viewpoint than what my classmates would spew. I remember my mom being very pro-Obama, but it seemed like everyone in my class couldn’t stop talking about how awful Obama was/would be. I didn’t know who was right, and which side to choose. If I choose my mother’s stance, then there was the possibility of getting into debates that I didn’t want to participate in. But if I chose my classmates’ positions, then I might lose a bit of respect in my mother’s eyes. Now, most of my opinions about aspects of life are very similar, if not identical to my parents'. Whether it be politics, religion, or some other heavy topic, my opinions have been the effect of my upbringing, and it didn’t help that I was in a small bubble with the same classmates up until college. Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I had gone to a different school, and how I would have been influenced differently.
I don’t really involve myself as much as I should in politics. I like seeing things from both sides, but this year it seemed like everything was a big joke, like it was all a dream. On my facebook wall I would see pro-Hillary posts from my college friends, but loads of anti-hillary posts from my elementary/high school friends. It was quite interesting to watch it all unfold, especially when the polling results came in.
I wouldn’t say that I directly unfollow people for their political/religious view, as I do actually enjoy seeing two sides of conflicting views. I will admit that I have muted a couple people because of their non-stop chatter about their views. I do however, unfollow people when the comments they make are constantly going nowhere, and are very repetitive with no new evidence or information to back those views, /or when comments/posts start turning malicious and aggressive. I don’t directly follow any specific one sided news organization, and I don’t really constantly encounter opinions other than my own on media feeds because I don’t follow that many people, as I’m not that social media savvy. Many of my good friends are of the opposing political party than me which has helped me become less polarized, however I still skip past most social media posts related to politics that I do encounter. When I watched the news with my parents, it was always just the evening local news, or the PBS nightly news at 5 pm. Recently though, I have been getting into ABC News. It was really interesting to see how all the “major” news channels fell on the conservative/liberal scale.