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Pop your media bubble and think differently

Even before the pandemic, we all lived in our own media bubbles. Our points of view was shaped by our vantage point of the world.

When we hear someone else’s perspective, we have two options: to dig our feet into the ground and stand our ground no matter what, or listen with empathy and an open mind.

On this episode of the Mind Meld vlog we chat with author, podcaster and Managing Partner at a digital market agency, Matt Rouse about our media bubbles and how it impacts our lives and our businesses.

Read the following excerpt to get his insights on how we can pop our bubbles to be more receptive and empathetic to others perspectives. Or watch the full video to reap the benefits of this insightful interview.


JN: Matt Rouse is the host of Digital Marketing Masters podcast, and one of the founders of Hook Yes SEO LLC. He's the author of Crush SEO, Start Saying Yes, and Flattening the Hamster Wheel and wrote the Inbox Mastery email marketing course. He’s a guy who knows things. Welcome to the show!

MR: Thanks. Well, if you're in my bubble, then you would think that I know a lot of things. But if you're outside my bubble, then you have not heard of me.

But, instead of having to make the bubble bigger as most people think it is. It should be how do we find more bubbles to be in?

JN: Exactly. And that’s what we're going to be talking about today. Media bubbles. And so to kick this off, I want to quote from the LinkedIn post that you did the other day:

“The new normal. Remember that outside your bubble things are different. To realise they're different, you have to admit to yourself that you are in a bubble. Your media is self-selecting.

You choose what you watch, read and listen to your social media and news apps and learn what you respond to and serve you more of the same. Even your search results reflect your own bubble. K

eep in mind that Google has more data on you than any other company in the world. And they use it to keep you coming back to see ads just like Facebook or Twitter.

Stepping out of your bubble gives you insight into other world views, even ones you disagree with, especially ones you disagree with. You don't have to befriend people with opposing views, but you should understand how they get and maintain those views.

Opening yourself up to new and different media and experiences makes you a more rounded person and a better marketer.”

So first of all, Matt, I have to ask you, do you disavow this completely outrageous statement that you came up with the other day?

MR: No. I know from my own research, just how tight those bubbles actually are. And it is amazing how small our bubble is. You don't notice it because your bubble is made for you. There's not a whole bunch of other people in your bubble. Everybody's bubble is their own bubble.

And people don't understand that, a decade ago a place like Facebook was keeping about 2,000 data points on a person. And as of two years ago, it was 240,000 data points on a person. Nowadays, it's probably over a million. And that’s very, very, very tiny, specific things about you.

For example, they know whether Jonathon is more likely to click on a video that contains a dog or a cat. They know if Jonathon responds better to video that has captions than video that has sound. Or Jonathon's favourite comic book. Or that Jonathon doesn't even like comic books. Any of these things is a piece of data that they have on you. And that data is used to generate a media landscape for you that looks like it's everybody's landscape and you're just in it, but it is exactly for you.

When you get search results from Google, those search results are made for you. They're based on the user intent. “What is Jonathon searching for right now.” So if Jonathon searches for pizza, but in the past, he's clicked on pizza recipes, and he's gone back, and then clicked on a pizza restaurant. Then he used that to look for a map and then go to eat at that place. Google knows he went there because he's got his android phone on him. They know that he went to the website, because there's Google Analytics on their website. And the next time, it's not going to serve them as many pizza recipes, because it knows that Jonathon's most likely not looking to cook pizza. Jonathon is looking to go purchase pizza and eat it at a restaurant.

That is the kind of media bubble that you get in search. So you're getting it in your social media, you're getting in the news that you get delivered. It's not like television, where everybody sees whatever's on the television. On something like Facebook or Google or any of these properties, you get a delivery that is so personalised, it is only for you and only for you right now. You would not get the same result if you did it when you were younger or older. Does that make sense?

JN: Absolutely. I remember when this big change happened on Google a little bit over a decade ago, when they started to personalise your search results. It was pointed out by a local marketer in Vancouver, Darren Barefoot, that it seems scary, obnoxious, all kinds of bad things. To me I get the utility of personalised results. We see the advantage of this, anytime we go on to a website like Amazon where you pick a product or a service, and based on your previous behaviour or what you've been searching for, they will suggest things that you might like. There is certainly utility in that.

But I also remember the pleasure of being surprised by something. I would go into a bookstore, And I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for. I might go into a section where I would pick up a book on a topic that I liked, but my eyes would sort of wander. I might wander into another section and something would pop that hadn't been on my radar. And it was a pleasure to discover something: a book or some music or some other kind of product that hadn't been selected for me, I was just sort of wandering. And you encounter this joy of discovery in lots of other avenues of your life. And we're getting less of that.

MR: Yes, there's also retail personalization, which is something kind of less specific. So what they're doing is they're saying, “these are the things that people who will physically walk into a bookstore would be interested in looking for,” versus people who are going to download books. We are more likely to put the titles that are more likely for people to browse and find into a bookstore. Whereas other titles could go to a digital bookstore. The algorithm has determined that.

Here’s another example. In the US, Target was sending coupons for newborn baby related stuff to a teenage girl. The father of the girl got really upset about this and contacted Target and complained about it. They said, “Yeah, we'll stop sending it.” A month later, his 16 year old daughter tells him that she's pregnant. Because Target figured it out before even he had figured it out. Because they were basing it on the things that she was looking for in the online store.

And the store cameras, it knows what cards you use when you go to the checkout. It's matched those to the person and then it can make predictive decisions based on what those things are.

JN: About that Target story, apparently this might be an urban legend. Eric Siegel, who is a commentator on AI and machine learning, did some digging. But the premise is correct.

MR: I’ve got another story about our own company. We were doing advertising for a law firm that does family law. And the client, when they asked, “Where did you hear about us” they said, “I saw an ad for you, before I was served divorce papers.” So Google made some decisions using its predictive algorithm and guessed that this is a person we think is likely to need a family lawyer, and sent them an advertisement for it. Or maybe it's just sending it to everybody who's a 40-year-old guy?

We had another law firm that we do advertising for, where one of their clients had a DUI, and they saw a DUI ad before they got pulled over. It's not difficult to figure out how an algorithm would figure that out, because it knows where you are because you have your Android phone on you. And it knows that you're leaving a place late at night. They know the place serves alcohol. They know when you're searching from home using the map or using the GPS.

When Google says that they don't allow marketers to use your data, what they're actually saying is, “we don't give them the data, we give them an input into the black box that we have, that we know what the data is, and our AI uses all of our data to make a decision. We just don't tell anyone what that data is.”

So as a marketer like myself, or like you in PR, if we were going to use Google for advertising or Facebook, we have some criteria that we can put in to say, “I want to find the person most likely to use this type of product or service, who is between this age and this age and lives in this geographical region.” Then the AI does the heavy lifting, right? It uses the data that we don't have access to to figure out who that is, and try and predict when people are going to need something.

This is why you hear people say things like, “Well, I was talking to my spouse the other night about vacuum cleaners, and then I went on the internet, and I saw an ad for a vacuum cleaner.” Was it listening to you? Maybe, maybe not, it depends what kind of equipment you have. But it's more likely that it predicted that you would need a vacuum cleaner. And you didn't notice that ad until you had been talking about it. It's the same story as when somebody goes out and buys a red car, and then you drive around all you see are red cars everywhere.

JN: That phenomenon comes up a lot with myself when I learn a new word. Suddenly I hear people say this word everywhere. And I'm like, were they always using this word? Probably, and I just ignored it.

MR: I keep hearing cognitive bias everywhere I go.

JN: Exactly. I'll confess sometimes I use social media as therapy for me. When something uncomfortable comes up and it's like, “Okay, well, what's my take on this and what can I say without venting?” Perhaps as a lesson for myself or perhaps an observation that could be helpful for others.

I'm curious. What was the inciting incident that prompted you to write that LinkedIn post?

MR: It's less of an inciting incident than you would think. I was sitting in a coffee shop, having a coffee with my wife. A lot of places, even where we used to live, you can't do that now? Because I had recently moved from just outside of Portland, Oregon in the United States, with 1000s of COVID cases to a place in Nova Scotia, Canada that I think they said on the news today that they have nine active cases in the province. And all of those people are quarantined. And they know where they got it.

So I can go sit in a coffee shop or go to a restaurant and have dinner. All of those kinds of things, because there's no COVID here. And it's not just because the government said you can be open. It's because they don't need to be closed. Because they've taken care of the problem.

And this is a bubble that other people are not going to be in. For example, if you're in New York, right now, they're talking about opening up maybe for 25% capacity for restaurants? They've been locked down for a long time and a lot of those businesses didn't survive. That's a different world, right?

Imagine yourself being a restaurant owner in a business that's been locked down and all your employees have been laid off. Even when you can start doing takeout and stuff, the government's giving your employees an extra $300 a week or a month, or whatever it was to stay on unemployment, so none of your employees want to come back to work. You've got no way to reach out to new customers because you used to have people just stop in because you were in an office building. Now your business is destroyed.

That's a completely different bubble and a completely different world that person is living in, than me in my coffee shop in Nova Scotia, flipping through the news. It just got me thinking about the parts of that technology bubble that I know a lot about, but that most people don't really understand even exists.

JN: Right. COVID is an interesting one from our end as a public relations team. This is a big news swarm. And one of the tactics that we use is newsjacking, which is hijacking a news swarm by injecting a company’s story, to make it relevant to this trending news. How do we contribute to this conversation, and maybe steer it a little bit.

There's actually only a few ways to do this which are actually safe for the company. And I like to take risks. I like to be edgy because being edgy gets noticed. If you're not saying something edgy, you're probably not saying something original. If you're not doing that, you're not going to get noticed and we're just spinning our wheels and we're not going to get results. That's not what we want. But with COVID in particular, it's not the only example but it's a good one.

Do you know what the Overton Window is? It’s the area within conversations that can take place, outside of which are the cranks, conspiracy theorists, weirdos. You don't want to be associated with that. So, when trying to newsjack both the COVID pandemic and the response to it, I've felt constrained in how we can creatively contribute to the conversation and be edgy. This is one area where it's really tough to make any headway. And honestly, I'm feeling constrained right now in that I don't want to give any specific examples because even you know, posting this on YouTube and having mentioned COVID. I don't even know if YouTube might constrain our traffic.

MR: No, they would constrain it unless you got into some crazy conspiracy theories and stuff. But talking about bubbles, YouTube is another giant bubble! Because YouTube also uses Google data to determine which videos are going to be shown. YouTube's has about 5 algorithms that run at the same time. And a lot of people refer to the client side algorithms as the emotion engine. And the object of YouTube's emotion engine is, “how can I get you to watch the next thing?” The majority goal of YouTube is “how can I not just get you back to the platform, but how can I keep you on it as long as possible by feeding you things that you are more likely to watch.” And the more times you choose things to watch, the better it gets, and the smarter it gets to determine what you want to watch next.

And there's an amazing amount of rabbit holes, you could go down on YouTube. For example, you go to YouTube to figure out how to fix the little handle on your toilet from jiggling then you’re watching videos about why flat earthers still exist. It’s just this rabbit hole you go down and you don't even know how you got there.

But, I do have a fantastic example about a way a company did PR with COVID relations. It's a company out of Portland called Indo, and they make window inserts. But that has nothing to do with what they did. What they did is develop something called the “clean manufacturing process.” The idea behind it about how you can set up your production floor or your factory floor in the safest way possible so that your employees don't spread COVID to one another if somebody comes in who's infected.

They were able to give that away to other companies for free saying, look, “we've developed this plan. And we've worked with doctors and environmentalists, and we figured out the best way to do this.” Then they asked for input from other manufacturers and they built a standard. That’s a fantastic example of how a company went out and made a way for other companies not even just themselves, to have a game plan to keep their employees safe on the manufacturing floor. And that is a fantastic PR response from my perspective.

JN: Yes, that's absolutely what you want. And such a terrific example. I'm curious about whether you've encountered media bubbles when dealing with clients. When you're in a conversation with a Founder, CEO, or or someone on the executive team, and you realise that you're not just talking past each other, but you seem to not be living a shared reality? How do you deal with this?

MR: I think that as business people, we kind of have a little bit of a shared reality somewhat because you're aware of a lot of players in the industry, a lot of things in the industry related to business. You understand things like bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, and HR. That gives you a shared reality in the first place. But there are definitely regional things that are quite different. When I'm talking to a real estate brokerage in Texas versus a real estate brokerage in Oregon, they have not only different markets, there's different wording and language that they use when they talk about those markets. Sometimes there's political differences and other kinds of local language and stuff like that. So it can be quite different.

I think the best thing to do in pretty much any of those cases is to ask short, simple questions and let them expand on the answers so that they can fill you in on what they believe is happening in their area. And also what their needs are. And I know that everybody says to listen more, that's why I got two ears one mouth kind of thing.

I've got a really simple example. So I moved to the United States from Canada. I was in the United States for 20 years. I would sit down in a place I didn’t know anyone, have something to eat, get a beer after work, and the person next to me would be having a conversation. Once in a while someone would make some snide comment about immigrants, not knowing that I'm an immigrant. I'm from another country and I've had a completely different experience.

The point is that in their world, an immigrant is a person from South America or another part of the world who is not white and has an accent or speaks another language. It does not occur to them that a Canadian white person who speaks English is an immigrant? And I'd be like, “Well, I'm an immigrant, I'm from Canada,” and they'd say that doesn’t count.

JN: Yeah. As people, I notice that we tend to paraphrase, shorten, and simplify. And in this particular instance, I suspect, what they meant was people who came to America with vastly different cultural backgrounds and different cultural experiences. Let's face it, Canadians, in a lot of cases, it's not that we're all the same. But you know, someone from, Manitoba might actually be very similar to someone from North Dakota or Minneapolis, and someone from Portland is probably very similar to someone in Vancouver, BC.

The reason I'm talking about this is that I was reading a book, How To Have Impossible Conversations, by Peter Boghossian. One of the tactics he was talking about to have better conversations and get outside your media bubble to have respectful conversations is to “steelman.” That means thinking “Okay, what is the way I could characterise what this person has said even better than then they could have said it,” and “Ok, so they’re saying XYZ” and you try to be generous in what you say, even if fundamentally inside yourself, you’re just agreeing with the person.

The objective of most conversations is to truly learn something. You're trying to expand your knowledge and learn from someone with a very different take than you. This is an opportunity to maybe disconfirm what you think you know. I find I'm wrong about things more often, maybe not more often than not, but over the years, I've become less and less ego driven, and more and more willing to change my mind and recognise my own errors.

MR: I think that does happen in some cases, but in a lot of cases, people go the other direction. They get more set in their ways. They put a stake in the ground and say “this is my viewpoint and you cannot change it.”

Well, let me tell you, I don't know if they had it in Canada, but in the US there was an app called Parlour that no longer works. It was championed by the politically hard right in the United States. However, when it first got rolling, I didn't know that immediately. And someone I know who was a business coach asked me to follow them on their Parlour account. So I went to check it out. I need to check out every social media app because it's my job to know these things. So I downloaded parlour and I'm looking through the first 20 or 30 posts and I'm like, “Oh, my God, there is some crazy, crazy stuff in there.”

I'm sure there was more moderate stuff too, but even when I looked through and I started friending some people and stuff there was definitely not anyone even remotely in the neighbourhood of my viewpoint. But I wanted to read through and see what they're seeing. And, man, I can understand how, if you are in that political bubble, that you would have those kinds of opinions. I look at the rhetoric, and I look at the media, and I look at the articles that they're reading. They come from what they believe to be a reputable news source. Just like I have my own news sources that I believe to be reputable, and I believe what they're saying they believe their news sources and what they're saying.

It's a completely different world! It's like an unimaginably different world. It's almost like those science fiction movies or books where everybody has their own personalised digital world. Well, this is what it's like. They have their own world and we have our own world. It's all the same actors, but the facts and the way it plays out and everything is completely different. Even though in reality, the same things have happened, their version of reality and my version of reality are completely different things.

JN: It’s interesting that the Parlour example gets into a few aspects of this that are actually quite interesting from a perspective of business realities and economics, in addition to the whole communications and media bubbles. I felt like Parlour becoming known as a right-wing platform was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It was created as a free speech platform.

As you may recall, Jack Dorsey, the head of Twitter, once characterised their approach as creating the free speech wing of this free speech party. And, actually, if they had held true to that image of themselves from the beginning, it would have at least been a bit of a truism.

Why did everyone get on Twitter in the first place? It was to get our ideas out there. To be able to talk but I don't want to just want to broadcast, I want to listen, and I want to see different kinds of conversations and take part in this new marketplace of ideas. I want to get outside of my media bubble. When did you get onto Twitter?

MR: I can’t remember, it's been so long.

JN: I probably joined around the same time! Now, if Twitter's approach, instead of being the free speech wing of the free speech party, had been “our plan is to have a platform where you can say whatever you want, and listen and have good conversations. And at some point, we're going to start closing accounts of people and we're not going to tell you why. You can make assumptions. We're going to start censoring accounts and cancelling accounts if we don't like what you're saying. We're going to put a little fact check things from third party news sources. And, so if you're on our bad side, it's going to be super annoying, but we're not going to tell you in advance or who’d be affected by that. Anyway, so please join our platform!”

MR: Right, but they also didn't say, “join our platform where you have the same voice as 250,000 out-of-country bots that are being used for political propaganda.”

There was a climate change debate on television. And the host, I think it was maybe Seth Godin, said that when you're a person trying to make a decision whether you believe in climate change or not, you see two people on TV. One scientist is against it and one is for it. Half of the people believe it and half of them don't. But in reality, there's a thousand scientists who are climate change deniers and there's a million who believe in climate change. So if you actually had the ratio, correct, then the interview wouldn't be one in one, it would be one person saying climate change isn't real. And it would be 1000 saying it is real.

That would be much more swaying and closer to facts and closer to was actually believed by scientists in the world? However, what you get is you get two, you get one person saying, “No, this is all BS,” and the other guy is like “everybody in the world agrees with me.” And the other guy's like, “no, they don't.” So you get this skewed view based on the news being like one person for and one person against this kind of thing.

JN: That's actually another really good example. But the climate change one is interesting, I got into a bit of a back and forth and a bit of trouble with a journalist about this the other day. My point is not that I think climate change isn't real. Actually, I've never met such a person who says climate change isn't real. I don't I don't think that is an actual human being who believes the climate doesn't change. And then it sort of goes to do humans affect the climate? Of course we do. How could we not know?

But going back to the discussion about how many scientists agree with this, it’s interesting because if you're in a certain media bubble, you might assume, 100% or 99.99% scientists agree about everything to do with climate change. In fact, the study most often cited goes back, I think it's something like 10-15 years and it's often misquoted. Basically, what it comes down to is that of the 96% or 98% of scientists who self-identify as scientists involved in climate change research, who are funded for climate change science, 96% of them actually believe in climate change. What a surprise. Which is not to say that it's not real but it's an interesting little little sub topic, though, where people's media bubbles can just violently clash.

MR: Absolutely. And the Twitter one is kind of an interesting example. Because there's free speech and then there's hate speech and somebody has to draw a line somewhere. And whether that line is “you can say, whatever you want, no matter what,” or if that line is, “if we think that you are affecting a political system,” or that line might be about “what we consider to be dangerous ideologies,” someone has to draw the line. Different platforms have drawn that line at different places.

JN: Totally. This gets us into another little bit. I'm not going to dwell on this a lot, but just from the perspective of an ex-journalist, marketer, PR guy...I'm fairly close to being a free speech absolutist, which is to say, I like the laws on free speech in the US actually better than in Canada. The First Amendment seems to be a good thing. There are limits on speech in the US and in Canada and elsewhere but those limits are effectively around if you're threatening someone’s life. But you get into the issue of “okay well is this cure worse than the disease?” And this is what social media companies are struggling so hard with.

MR: There's an amazing amount of disgusting stuff that happens on social media. And there is a lot of cleanup that happens that people have no idea about. I think the stat was something absurd when I had to read it again, because it was so ridiculous. And it was something like 80,000 videos of animal cruelty by humans a day are removed from Facebook.

For starters, why would anyone post or do such a thing? I have no idea. But there's 80,000 a day, like it's in the same insane amount, right? What ends up happening is they go, “look, there's no way that we can police all this with real people, we have to use technology to catch this.” Then they try to train the technology to catch it and what happens is the technology has two sides. One side is like the AI model is gonna have the biases that were built into the system by the people who used to do it. But the other side is that you get a huge amount of false positives.

A company that I worked with mentioned that they watched a video, like a movie, where the main character was a kung-fu Hitler, and their account got blocked. And not only did their account get blocked, their ad account got blocked, they lost 1000’s of dollars trying to get it reinstated. They finally did get it all cleaned up, but they lost a tonne of revenue over that one statement, which then makes them never want to post free speech type stuff again, on their account, because they're worried that they're going to lose their business. That's a problem.

JN: This reminds me of a tweet from Eric Weinstein, an intellectual in the US that I admire greatly, even though his specialty is in mathematics, which I don't have a brain for at all. He's got lots of interesting things to say. And to tie into what you just said, I believe in his tweet he was talking about making a prediction that social media platforms were going to start cancelling lots of accounts and they’re not going to give reasons at all. Or that this “violates our terms of service.” He predicted that they will reinstate most, maybe many, of these accounts. And the third prediction is we are going to be far more careful in future about the things that we say in social media. And the social media companies are going to claim no harm, no foul.

But, the punishment and the damage is already done?

MR: And what everybody talks about, they say, well, who cares if your Facebook profile gets cancelled? Yeah, well, if you're a small business, and the only revenue that you have comes from the ability to advertise locally, and your Facebook account gets disabled, you probably will lose 25%- 75% of your revenue if your business requires localised advertising and for whatever reason, maybe your Google Local ads aren't really the solution for you.

There are some businesses where 100% of their sales come from Facebook and Instagram ads. I don't want to hit on this point too softly or too hard. But this thing really, really bothers me because when you create an account and Facebook says, “Do you want to use this for your business?” Now this is an object of value. This even though it's digital and it’s an account, but that ad account and the information you've posted has value and generates revenue so it should be protected by law, where someone can't just shut that off without giving you a legal reason.

But when it comes to social media accounts, who cares? Shut it off. Nobody gives a. Right. But it murders businesses, it destroys businesses, small businesses. And they turn those small businesses off for doing the same things that larger businesses do. And the larger businesses don't get cut off because of the revenue.

So then again, you've got that whole thing with what recently happened with the Robin Hood app and the GameStonk thing. The hedge fund is shorting the stock and everybody buys the stock to raise the stock up, the hedge fund goes broke, and the hedge fund calls Robin Hood and says, I want you to shut down the app because they're an investor in the app.

If I lost 1000s of dollars in the stock market, and I was gonna go broke, I couldn't call Robin Hood and be like, tell your people to stop buying my stock. When you’re a hedge fund, you can do it. And that problem is inequality and the inequality leads to people leaving the platforms or not using them the way they're intended anymore. They'll go somewhere else where they could do what they like, like TikTok which is humongous now. Young people are leaving in droves.

Want to talk about a bubble, go talk to a group of like, 15, 16, or 17 year old kids. They're on TikTok, and Snapchat, and Discord Servers, and Twitch. They don't watch the same movies, media, or TV. They don't go on Facebook to get news. They might be on Instagram, but usually they have a fake account for their parents and then one for themselves. And they're on Twitter, but the only thing they talk about on Twitter is their hobbies.

JN: I agree. I agree with almost all of that. I'm going to push back a little bit. And this comes back to my original thing about Parlour and I'm going to take the politics out of it because this messes up how people see something. Pretend that Twitter was censoring all the cat videos and all everyone who liked cats, anything, any message to do with cats, just got censored, it got fact checked claiming “that's not a real cat.”

So anything to do with cats, you could not post on Twitter. Then Parlour becomes this escape route for the cat people. You know it's a market, a natural consequence of a market decision. “We don't want this group of people.” So this is what people hear. So now you get all the cat people going to Parlour, and let's say all everyone else on Twitter are dog people, and they start complaining, “look at these extreme cat videos on Parlour. This is insane. This is why we kicked them off our platform.” And this is why they can't have any platform.” And as a free speech lover and generally a talkative guy, I would rather that people have these bubbles, than not be able to talk at all. I wish we could actually have more crossover.

MR: I think they're going to splinter into smaller groups on desperate independent platforms. Stuff like Mighty Networks. And I think you're gonna see that not necessarily because of censorship but more because the content on the larger platforms is getting to be too generic. Once everybody sees somebody that they know who got banned for saying something that they shouldn't say, people are gonna go to places where they can see this specific thing they want to see. And, whether they go to “” or whatever it is to go talk about cats, that's fine, they can see all the cat videos that they want without being bothered with all these dog videos that they don't want to see anyway.

Even though the algorithms trim down content to the things that you're interested in, if you're on a social platform, you're still seeing other things from other people and what their interest is. I think you're gonna see new sites and networks for specifically niche type stuff and political views, for people to share those opinions and talk about those things. So if they're into painting, they're gonna go to their Mighty Networks painting site.

Even right now on Facebook, I'm in a “new to Nova Scotia” group where everybody talks about Nova Scotia. I think the separation is going to happen and it's difficult for large platforms to build those separate communities and get rid of the communities that they don't want. It's like a policing nightmare. And I think you got to draw the line somewhere, you know, just like what you're saying. But every platform is going to draw the line at a different spot and people are just gonna get fed up with it. They're gonna go, I don't know what I can say or post on any of these things. So I'm gonna go use this other platform instead.

JN: Exactly. And however you're trying to deal with this, I think the advice that you're giving, starting from your LinkedIn post, is that you’re going to encounter people who clearly come from a different bubble. Look at it as an opportunity to listen to learn to empathise. Be respectful. And remember, hey, we’re all people!

MR: Yes and a great way to do it is to watch a different TV station, a different radio station, a different magazine, or a new book you have no interest in at the bookstore. The next time your bookstore is open, go in and discover what other people are seeing and reading and what they're being told and what music they're listening to. Look at what platforms they're using.

You’re going to see an entirely different world. And then when you go back, especially if you're a business person or in PR, or marketing, or sales, you can start to speak the language, and have a better understanding of where they're coming from. It helps you to just be a better rounded person, right? Because obviously, your bubble doesn't contain everything. Until everybody's got their VR headset and an entire world inside that’s designed just for them, you're gonna have to deal with being in other people's worlds.


We hope this discussion makes you more aware of the bubble you exist in and makes you aware how our individual bubbles and biases gives us our different viewpoints. When we come from the perspective of being curious about others perspectives, we may learn something new or change our own views for the better.

If you’re looking for a Vancouver PR agency to help you start a discussion on your viewpoint, get in touch.


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