My 2018 news resolution backfired


With 2019 almost upon us, I thought it’d be an opportunity to reflect on one of the goals I had for 2018.

We hear so much about online search bubbles and echo chambers. When you only follow people on social networks who agree with you, or read news services that conform to your world view, you’re limiting your perspectives. Break through this, and open your mind.

I’m increasingly of the opinion this sentiment is another example of what’s good collectively isn’t good individually.

This year I followed a ton of news outlets, talking heads, and people with views I don’t share, in the hopes it would help inform me on what the other side thinks, and maybe even learn something. While it did achieve that, it also left me irritated, angry, and frustrated. I gritted my teeth and kept them around, hoping for a piece of insight or a fact that would have otherwise not been available to me. Nada.

It’s an unpopular view, but there really aren’t two sides to many issues; you either have the facts or you don’t. And the mental gymnastics on display by those from certain media outlets left me in a state of awe. If anything, I lost even more respect for them, as commentators and as people.

Like the foodies who say you didn’t go to the right place then, or you didn’t order it right when you’re disappointed with a supposedly fabulous dish, there will be those who claim I didn’t follow the right people. I’m as unconvinced as those who told me pretzels from those carts in New York are a tasty morsel.

So in 2019 I’m going to unfollow those people and outlets. Sorry Chris Kenny, Sean Hannity, and co. I gave you all a year to change my mind, but if that’s the best you had to show, I’m going to take care of my mental health now instead.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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