A Quiet Convenience

Something happened to me as I was leaving a local coffee shop. A sharply-dressed older couple who seemed pleasant enough were speaking quite openly about their adoration of President Trump and what they believed he was doing for their dollar. And even though I scoffed on the inside and my guts started to churn, I did something I couldn’t explain: I didn’t say a word. I simply walked by, and I even smiled.

Shit Happens. And We Like It.

Why did I think I was so right and they were so wrong? Because I had been seeking out answers that affirmed my position at every turn. And, well, no offense, but you do too. It’s a little something called confirmation bias: when we’re presented with facts that are different from our own set of beliefs, we reject them in search of alternative data that more firmly align with our own perspectives. As humans, we continuously seek out missing points that again, place us right back in the place we started.

 

How To Know Your News.

Image: via Vanessa Otero

Image: via Vanessa Otero


 

It Will Happen to All of Us.

There is a very real impact of this pattern of behavior, seeking more of what we already believe: common ground and empathetic states become further and far-removed. Continuously finding ourselves in opposing camps is not only dangerous, but it means progress and innovation suffer. In these situations, it becomes a case of majority rules. And the problem with this is, that one day, we will all find ourselves in the minority, wondering why the majority won’t listen.

Shhh...

So, try telling your confirmation bias to shut the hell up every now and then. Find a way to further educate yourself. Sit at a bar for a couple of hours, call your know-it-all cousin Burt, or tune in to that annoying opposition radio show, and just listen. And when you find something interesting, let it sit for a while. You may just find some middle ground, shoved right up in the crack of your bias.


 

DANIELLE MILNER

Future seeker, without a crystal ball. Obsessed with strategy and connection. A crusader for culture, great copy and big ideas. Laughs spontaneously and cries contagiously. Scorpio.

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