Dying Daily #246: Mindful Media

I keep thinking the media can’t get worse, but I’ve been thinking that for 14 years now. They keep proving me wrong.

I used to think that the internet would allow people to have more access to more information, but it seems to have just allowed everyone to live in an echo chamber. We can cultivate our news consumption in a way that prevents us from ever having our beliefs challenged.

What we put in our bodies determines how we feel, what we out in our minds determines what we believe, which, incidentally, also determines how we feel. We act like this isn’t true, and we can watch anything we want, and not be affected. Talk to someone who only watches Fox and reads Breitbart and someone who only watches MSNBC and reads Alternet, and you will find two people who seem to live on different planets. Neither will be happy either.

I like to do experiments with my beliefs, like only consuming right wing or left news for a set amount of time, or joining communities built around a certain ideology or belief to see what it is like to live within that worldview.

The best of these experiments involved not feeding either side, and going out of my way to not consume news and ideology (as best I could). The result? I was happier and paid more attention to everything that was actually going on around me, and the world stayed exactly the same. My being informed/not being informed had zero impact on anything.

How often do you step outside what you have always believed?

Are you able to put yourself in the shoes of people who believe differently than you, in a real way?

What makes your beliefs “yours” in the first place?