If you are who you follow, then I’m positively confused. My Instagram and Twitter feeds are a hodgepodge of goofy memes, radical socialists, environmental activists, conservative commentators, biased news outlets, and more. Does any single account reflect a piece of my identity? Possibly. Do I agree with every word spewed across my timeline on a daily basis?
Who I follow reflects my desire to learn from different perspectives and experiences. I have been criticized for engaging with accounts who may express unconventional views. I have been disappointed to lose friends over the simple act of following an account they dislike. To facilitate open, constructive dialogue, it is necessary to be mindful of diverse perspectives. Isolating ourselves within a homogenous echochamber restricts our ability to be compassionate with other people’s viewpoints.
As I scroll through my feed, I see the accounts I follow as a reflection of global societies. I try to expose myself to a diverse range of ideologies- as long as they are not fueled by hatred. Who am I to invalidate another human’s life experience? Who am I to ardently declare right from wrong? No singular person harbors access to an omniscient truth.
So, I sit and I scroll. I absorb the vast range of attitudes and opinions, and form an independent mindset based on the information I consume. Empowered with knowledge, I will engage in constructive dialogues with anybody who pleases. An open mind is pivotal to rebuilding our local, national, and global communities.