One Perspective is No Perspective

how to escape the echo chamber

We’re all biased, so biased that we love to hang out with people who think like us, read stuff that we agree with and do stuff we like to do. It’s all good and well, but what we get in enjoyement we lose in perspective; because that one perspective that we hold isn’t the complete picture of life.

We have to get out of our head, our bubble, to get the complete picture. In startup parlance, the answers are outside the building not in ones head!

One of the main challenges of social media still to this day is the concept of filter bubbles, where isolation (hanging out with the same people online, visiting the same websites) distorts reality. Here’s how it works:

This concept is further amplified by the echo chamber, which distort a person’s perspective:

None of us are immune to filter bubbles and echo chambers! We have to become aware of our own fallability and consistently work to avoid falling into these traps.

How to get out of your echo chamber

My one tip for doing this is pause and reflect whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority of opinions. Let me give you an example: the NFT craze.

Is it a trend, a fad? I know people who don’t event know about NFT’s, and a whole other bunch of people who are all over it and another bunch of people who think it’s a fad just like bitcoin.

For me, it’s important to understand anything before jumping into a bandwagon. Because my Twitter feed is pro-innovation, lots of startup and bleeding edge stuff, I get a lot of people who are posting their NFT’s and raving about it. So, I took the time to read and follow people who don’t rave about it.

In my research I came to understand how NFT’s create value, and why I should probably follow it rather than disregard it. Does it mean I’m raving about it? No. But I’ve amplified my perspective instead of just sticking to one.

With that said, Darren Matthews, who writes about thinking and decision making asked his Twitter followers about how they escape their echo chamber.


How I escape the echo chamber

This is how I escape the echo chamber:

I deliberately read information that I don’t agree with; as well as hang around people who have differing views and perspectives. And make effort to understand their positions. It’s hard, you have to be aware and make time for it. The cue for me to break from orbit is when I’m in a group where everyone agrees with each other; which happens a lot on Twitter. Nothing wrong with hanging out with like minded people, but one perspective is no perspective.

One perspective is no perspective

Our perspective, is just our perspective; it’s not the only perspective. We have to deliberately talk with people with different opinions than ours to form a more expansive perspective. Remember, you don’t have all the answers. And like I said, the answers are outside the building not in ones head.

Being smart doesn’t mean you disregard opinions and perspectives that challenge yours; that’s easy. Being smart means being open minded, and being deliberate about wanting to know more and seeking differing opinions and perspectives; this is a true superpower.

As Alan Kay once said, “a chance in perspective is worth 80 IQ points”.

Bottom line: One perspective is no perspective. It’s easy to follow the herd, we’re all wired for it, but what we gain in time for not thinking is what we lose in perspective.

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