Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Filter Bubble

My filter bubble has largely developed over the last 6 years. I would hear my family members try to tell me what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' growing up. Looking back at those times, I never really aligned with any of their views; well that and I just didn't care that much when I was 15. The next year, I got a job, and then politics became very prevalent in my life. Why is a fourth of my paycheck going to the government? Why do they tax a sixteen year old this much? What purpose does this serve? Why am I paying for social security right now? Everybody tells me that they are not sure I will ever see that money again in 45 years. This is what led me to care so much about politics - first becoming fiscally conservative.
Secondly, I have family members that haven't worked a day in their life, not because they physically can't, but because they don't want to. No high school diploma, no GED, no work experience, but they have everything they want and need: plenty of food, cars, iPhones, video games, etc. This factor in my life has personally made me angry at the fact that people can still do this. This made me then become socially conservative.
I don't really want to get into guns. To me it is pretty simple, it's in the constitution. I also recommend shooting a gun, it is so much fun. It's also pretty crazy if you think about it - no electricity, no batteries, no charging, just good, clean, family fun.
Anyways, my filter bubble involves watching the cable news network Fox News. I try to watch CNN sometimes, but I can't take some of their anchors seriously. In today's day and age if you watch a certain program it directly affiliates you with a certain party, which I can somewhat see. But the networks aren't helping, because in my opinion they are creating the larger divide between the right and left.
 I enjoy watching Fox now because they actually have live coverage where and what the President is doing. I don't really care about speculating what he's doing, I just want to watch it for myself and come up with my own views. All they have been doing over at Fox for the last several months is describing or speculating the event. The anchors don't turn each moment into a drastic debate, and if that ever happens, it usually causes me to turn the channel. I have been having a tough time watching ESPN's SportsCenter, and shows alike. They are getting into politics as well in certain segments, which frustrates me a lot. I turned to your channel to watch and listen to sports talk, not politics. I try to set my filter bubble to things I agree with, but it seems I can't escape everything, no matter how hard I try.
I don't mind watching left-leaning programs, some I can tolerate, or I just get over it since I have liked said programs for a while. Saturday Night Live usually has been something I watched with my parents throughout the years, but even know we stop talking about it as much as we used to, which is a shame.
I hated getting on Facebook and Twitter for a while, seeing some friends I'm not super close with go on tirades about politics wasn't fun. I never really commented or replied to their posts. I never unfriended or unfollowed anyone during that period. There was one person though who was constantly ranting about nonsense who I did mute, so I didn't unfollow them, there tweets just didn't appear on my timeline until the election was over.
Political polarization has played a huge role in my daily life. I took a class last fall semester. It was me and one other male student, the rest female. I didn't think anything of it until our professor asked each student how we align on the political spectrum. Every female, except one, lined up on the left side of the spectrum. The three of us were outcast from the class after this day. Our opinions were laughed at, we were interrupted constantly, and the amount of times we were labelled as racist because we simply supported one candidate over the other. It was a situation I was uncomfortable with because the class was never about communication, it was a 75 minute debate about the upcoming election - I hated every second of it.
Now that the election is over, you would think that things have changed, and it hasn't. More people who supported the President have come out of the woodworks and spoken up every now and then, but we are still heavily outnumbered on-campus. I don't mind it, and it doesn't effect my daily life, but it is tough to see how we as Americans are turning out. There isn't a middle ground anymore, my filter bubble is as thin as ever, yet I still manage to keep an open mind when I can.

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