My Bubble is Better Than Your Bubble

Once again, one of my favorite bloggers has written a post that, IMO, is “right-on.” I hope each of you will follow the link and read it for yourself but before you do, I want to share a couple of points he made that I feel are very relevant in today’s world … even more so in the blogging world.

The title of the post is “Living in a bubble” and this is the part I especially liked:

Too many of us live in our own little bubble, a bubble filled with people who look like, think like, believe like, hell even smell like we do. Over time we begin to believe that our bubble is the only true world that should exist. It becomes the representation of what we think the rest of world should look like. There is no room in our bubbles for diversity or change because that would be uncomfortable. We thrive on comfort, keeping things the same whether it is a realistic view or not.

Those last two sentences remind me of many blog discussions …

The post ends with this comment:

Take the time to find some common ground with the people living outside of your bubble. Will it be easy? Oh hell no but we have to start somewhere and it might as well start with you and I.

I couldn’t put it better myself.

Read the entire post here.

34 thoughts on “My Bubble is Better Than Your Bubble

  1. There was an interesting study that showed that people respond to strangers in a visceral, not intellectual way. Studies on perception of pain show that if a friend is enduring a painful situation identical to our own, it is even more painful for us–we seem to take on some of our friend’s pain. If we share that pain with a stranger, there is no effect. The researchers found they could turn that effect around by having the two strangers play a cooperative video game for 15 minutes (Just 15 effing minutes and I don’t think they explored how few minutes it really took!). The researchers were researching the effects of video games, but my experience says that if you eat with another or work toward a common goal with another, strangers become like friends rather quickly. “Breaking bread” has symbolic power, but eating together … “sharing” a meal, working to a common goal … all of these indicate how very thin our bubbles are. The bubbles exist for good reasons, do not disparage them. But extend a hand through your bubble, with a piece of chicken in it … or a shovel … and a new friend is in the making.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I don’t know…there are two sides to this coin. I think a lot of people are in pain and lashing out because they find themselves OUTSIDE of their bubble for a variety of reasons. They have no “home” and no one to think like them/support them/fight for them. When you have nothing to lose, it gets way easier to be a lone wolf.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Cultural polarization is certainly getting worse, but the role of social media probably exacerbates the problem.

    In my neighborhood, the most politically vocal residents are ideological conservatives and Christian fundamentalists. The rest of us, mostly independents and left-leaning folks, have learned to keep a low political profile in order to maintain the peace. I get along with the crazies just fine, but find interactions with them to be personally unsatisfying. So, I interact online with people more like myself. I’ve tried and tried to build bridges with more right-wing types, but to no avail. It’s difficult communicating with a brick.

    I’m not sure what else I can do. It is what it is.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. I am not sure the bubble problem is quite as bad as one makes it out to be. Yes there are certainly bubbles out there, but I can’t imagine the bubbles were better before radio. The news of the world traveled slowly and outside of cities you probably weren’t getting a whole of news except verbally. You lived in your small corner of the world met few people who lived outside of it and learned very little of the world in general unless you were willing to go to the library. Few people traveled very far from home. Air travel wasn’t possible.

    Now we can be informed of world news instantly. In a moment if you said…hey go to talk to somebody from Cambodia, I could probably make it happen. We pay attention to the conflict and the clashes, and don’t notice the people whose minds are being broadened every minute as they connect to other stories, other people, other places in a way they couldn’t before. The conflict and clashes seem insurmountable but even our awareness of these other bubbles is awareness. Should we reach across the aisle? Perhaps. But given the global connection it also makes sense that we would hit these walls of people for whom it seems we have nothing in common with. These are people 100 years ago we would probably never meet or have heard of, yet they existed.

    In regards to getting out of my own bubble. It isn’t easy. It’s exhausting at times, and I have only so much energy to spare in a day. As Scottie says in his comment on the original blog there are some worldviews I honestly don’t have to give a lot of time to. For me I don’t reject ideas out of hand because they don’t agree with mine but rather because I’ve spent a lot of time evaluating it. I’ve spent a lot of time evaluating my own. This evaluation has led to changes over time. Certainly there is a certain level of kindness I should show people, but if someone presents me with a worldview that I’ve already spent a lot of time trying to understand I don’t feel compelled to consider it seriously again. I think it’s just more important to be kind in whatever type of world you want to live in than worry about what bubble you live in. If every worried about being kind the world would be a better place.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Hmmm… Well I first argue that it’s questionable how much of a bubble we are all living in to begin with. Especially given how much of a bubble people used to live in. That would seem to be crucial to the argument that the original blogger writes about and what you have quoted.

        Then I also question the general assumption that if I seem to be living in a bubble where I expect others to come around to my worldview that I haven’t deeply considered other ones. Or that I can’t empathize with other points of view as I may have started off in another bubble and ended up in this one.

        So I guess I must be the one missing something if you didn’t feel my comments addressed the entire first passage your extracted from the original blog. I also think it’s important to recognize that sometimes we need support and people who agree with us… That doesn’t mean we are interested in learning other points of view. A blog or Facebook represents only one dimension of where we write or get information.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Swarn, I feel personally that dropping or at least suspending — for a fair amount of time — our own pretenses would be an easy start. This goes for every single human on Earth. I think this is a bit what you are alluding to. Am I correct?

          Liked by 1 person

        • OK, what I think is going on here is you’re seeing the excerpt differently than me. I believe people DO tend to stay within their own “bubbles,” e.g., around people who have similar perspectives on life. It doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to “religion.” It can be (and often is) related to politics. Even science, e.g., difference in views related to climate change, preservation of natural resources, evolution.

          And don’t you agree that many find it very difficult to step outside their bubble because, as the writer said at the end of the excerpt, “We thrive on comfort ..” ?

          Please understand. I’m NOT saying that living in a bubble is a good thing. When people surround themselves only with others who are like-minded, they (we) can become very judgmental, selfish, argumentative, etc. Not only that, we can remain very “stupid” because we never explore beyond the circumference of our bubble.

          Hope we’re all on the same page now.

          Liked by 5 people

          • I mean I do understand what you are asserting and I certainly didn’t mean to limit myself to religion as I agree that bubble can be about politics, science etc. There is value to talking to people with diverse perspectives in terms of going forward.

            The point I was trying to make was that I do question how much of a bubble we are actually in, at least compared to the type of bubbles that we have historically been in which I think were much more isolated than we are today.

            I was also making the point that being critical of different world views isn’t necessarily just a function of you being in a bubble, but it may also be that you’ve spent a great deal of time considering that point of view and have seriously addressed the arguments. When I debate people about climate change, they aren’t bringing up any new points I haven’t been considered. I don’t find a lot of value with making an effort to step outside of my climate change bubble to find a skeptic and debate the science. Now I do find value in understanding if what they are most worried about is losing their job with a declining fossil fuel industry. That’s a valid concern certainly, but the argument from the Republican party and most skeptics has to do with the science itself. There are certainly reasonable discussions to be had in how best to deal with the problem of climate change.

            So I didn’t think you were saying that living in a bubble is a good thing, I’m questioning the whole concept. It’s a trope that goes around quite a bit and while we probably insulate ourselves more than we should, I don’t think that we can make assumptions that those living in bubbles are ignorant of other points of view, and overall that we are much less insulated from other points of view today than we would have been 100 years ago. It actually takes a great deal of effort to be in a bubble today.

            Liked by 1 person

      • I think Nan, the point is being made that while there are some good ideas about “going outside your bubble,” the whole bubble theory suggests people are basically ignorant, selfish, and unable to see another’s point of view. Certainly this is some people, but I don’t think it fits the majority of people.

        Many of us hold onto ideas that are important to us…this does not mean we live in a bubble where we’ve never seen or heard another point of view, nor does it mean we disagree with all differing points of view. With the internet these days, no one’s view goes unscathed and uncriticized.

        I do support the general premise of your post here and that of the original, which is basically saying get out there and expose yourself to different ideas and people….expand your mind whenever possible. That’s always a good thing. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  5. About exposure and bubbles…

    Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

    It liberates the vandal to travel — you never saw a bigoted, opinionated, stubborn, narrow-minded, self-conceited, almighty mean man in your life but he had stuck in one place since he was born and thought God made the world and dyspepsia and bile for his especial comfort and satisfaction.
    — Mark Twain

    Liked by 6 people

  6. There is no room in our bubbles for diversity or change because that would be uncomfortable. We thrive on comfort, keeping things the same whether it is a realistic view or not.

    I am not going to read the original post before commenting on yours.

    Those last two sentences remind me of many blog discussions …

    I am going to take a leap here and presume you are referring to religion and politics as these seem to be the two main bones of contention.
    I have non interest in politics so do not discuss it… or read about it or write about it (any more)

    I read several blogs about gardening, travel, photography, cooking, and music.

    I have no issues with such topics though I will generally drift towards blogs that feature the areas of these particular topics I enjoy more.

    For example. It is unlikely I am going to subscribe to a music orientated blog than is primarily a fan base for Boy Bands.
    But I enjoying reading all sorts of gardening blogs no matter what their content.

    I have also learned an awful lot about photography since I acquired a couple of digital cameras and this is solely through reading blogs. Blogs written by various people from all sorts of backgrounds. Some of which are quite likely big fans of Boy Bands who hate gardening.

    I communicate with one bloke who runs a photography blog who lives in the Caribbean. And he is also a big Liverpool fan! What a bonus!
    However, he may also be a raving cross-dressing, bi sexual Jesus Freak who drinks a bottle of vodka a day and likes his steak while it is still mooing.

    We don’t talk about these aspects of his life, if indeed they even are aspects of his life.
    Outside of blogging, his drinking habits …. if indeed he has them …. would definitely be a problem and good reason for him to remain in his bubble. Being a Jesus freak would not bother me, unless he continually tried to convert me, or preach to any of my family or other friends. I livew with meat eaters so his carniverous eating habits are not an issue either … unless he eyes my dogs and begins to drool. And I couldn’t care less about him being a bi sexual cross-dresser providing he didn’t try to hit on me and had good taste in dress sense – such as clothes by designer David Tlale, for one.

    How we doing so far?

    Right, now let me go follow the link.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Ark … when I said the comment reminded me of many blog discussions, I was referring to religion and politics.

      Most definitely, you are correct when you say the blogosphere is not limited to these two topics. However, I think you’ll agree (especially since you seem to be more widely read on other topics), it’s these two topics that demonstrate how many people DO live in bubbles and believe their bubble “is the only true world that should exist.”

      Liked by 4 people

      • Oh,I agree. And you have surely noted that many of the more dig-the-heels-in type of believer encountered in blogland tends to come from the states for some reason.

        Think, Wally, CS, Citizen Tom etc, that all too often have a rotten habit of enmeshing their religious beliefs with their politics:

        ”I voted for Trump because of his views on abortion” or some such.

        What I find fascinating is this utterly ridiculous need that these two a penny so-called re-born Jesus follower types have to espouse their newly discovered all-loving worldview as a panacea to every crisis one can imagine and then they get upset when you point out that we don’t actually need anymore of this crap, thank very much.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Good points. It’s seems to be especially true among “church” folk. I ask my congregation pretty regularly if they have any friends who are not Christians. Many don’t, sad to say. My wife and I have made a concerted effort to get involved our in community and most of our friends now either don’t go to our church or are not Christians. Our life has gotten richer because of it (we still love our church friends, too). We both have diverse interests so it’s pretty easy for us to find common ground. For instance, we both love history (our town is a historic tourist town) and my wife loves art and has done many projects for the city and after-school art projects for the local art center, This has allows us to break out of our “bubble.”
    We can learn so much from people who have a different view of life than we do. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      • I’m talking about religious, non-religious, agnostics, atheists, political, apolitical. Actually, the subject of politics or religion almost never comes up. What we may or may not believe is not the basis of our friendships.

        Liked by 4 people

        • That’s at least seven friends by my count. That’s pretty good.

          How would you react if one the kids of your atheist/s friend/s began telling the other kids at a get together at your spot over a bar-b-que or party ( as kids are wont to do, right?) that: ”My dad says the bible an’ Jesus amn’ the angels an’ god are just made-up stories.”

          Liked by 1 person

    • Mel,

      I have a very good friend (Stevie Long) who was not only a teammate on my later U.S. semi-pro soccer team/career, but his brother was my college coach for one year, and his own family were very close to my 3-year college coach — all of them were close missionary families down in Brazil. Stevie and I became even closer when he, his wife, and 3 kids moved temporarily to Texas. He and his wife helped counsel myself and my wife at the time — also from one of the missionary families in Brazil and minister’s daughter — because she wanted to divorce me. Long story short, Stevie and I became quite close. He truly understood me and my wife’s parents & family because of Brazil.

      Stevie soon returned to missionary work in Portugal; they were in the States only to raise missions-funding to go back, touring all possible churches. One of the most PROFOUND things Stevie confessed to me was this…

      Touring churches, speaking, and raising money in the USA is one my LEAST favorite things to do,” he said to me. Surprised by this I asked why. “When I’m out in the missions field, in an alien land so to speak, I know EXACTLY what to expect from “the world,” from non-Believers. For me, they are easy to figure out and understand; not pretentiousness really. I’ve been among non-Believers most all of my life, especially in futebol.” And here is what stunned me…

      But when I’m in the USA doing this, speaking with churches and church members, the ambiguity is rampant! I have such a very hard time figuring out where their hearts really, REALLY are for Christ. I don’t see the ACTION in the worst parts of the country. I don’t find the passion to be “out there” among the lepers, the prostitutes, and the undesirables of society the way Christ spent most all of his ministry!

      In my mind, and after MY 10+ years in Evangelical Christianity, I thought Stevie was spot on. During that time with him… was the time I spent another 5-6 years researching God’s Word for answers. All I found was not only a LOST flock of American believers everywhere, but a plethora of Scriptural holes, incongruencies, doctrinal ambiguity, and unsupported independent corroboration from non-Christian and non-Judaic sources for the Canonical New Testament. Then it hit me, I’m fighting an impossible battle that in reality is myth and folklore. HAH! Now my life is so SO much better and happier! 🙂

      What Stevie told me led me to truths and told me a LOT about Christian “faith” and its foundations. Anyway, some things to consider… or not. LOL

      Liked by 5 people

      • That’s because Christianity is a cultural thing for most people in this country. That’s why I love the whole “you were never really a christian” bit directed towards me. (I was one, a very devout one and that’s how I ended up leaving it all!) When they say things like that to me I immediately wonder where their devotion truly lies. I gave up so much to follow Jesus. I didn’t marry until I was 31. I know EXACTLY what it’s like to put Jesus first and be married to him. I thoroughly understood that to die in myself was to live for him and I took it quite literally. When I see Christians who are puffed up with their own goals, money and ideas, I know they do not understand the salvation they claim. I, too, have often seen the pretentious, snooty and demand-their-own-way Christians your friend speaks of. In all honesty, their present Christianity should be questioned, not my former faith. Christianity is consistently giving up your rights, not these glorified temper tantrums I’ve seen from the moral majority since the 80s. It’s also not this lazy chillax hipster shit I’ve seen since 2000. And regardless of how progressive some Christians have thought themselves to be in the 2010s by hugging the neck of a black or gay man, it’s not that either. Christianity is death to one’s self. That is a huge reason why I left. I was drowning in the Holy Spirit and I was desperate to breathe my own breath for once in my life! A person can’t keep up with all of those demanding sacrifices their entire life. They either leave it altogether or they just keep up appearances by going through the motions without the depth and sacrifices.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Charity,

          I completely understand and empathize with your journey. I completely understand how you were/are treated by “American or Southern Xians” too. I sacrificed a TON for it all as well — even allowing my (Christian?) ex-wife to be the primary caretaker of our/my two kids in 2002 in our divorce JUST SO my kids (8-yr old daughter & 1-yr old son at the time) would not be innocent bystanders thru it all, which inevitable happens no matter what at those ages. A few months later and in return she moved them, with her immediate new husband, over 300-miles away from me. I became less than a part-time Dad. Serious pain there for me and the last 15-years. So believe me when I say… I truly know what you’ve been put thru. Sorry. 😦 ❤

          Liked by 2 people

          • No need to be sorry for me. I do appreciate it though. I was just trying to make a point. I recently watched “One of US” on Netflix about those who left the Hasidic Jewish community. Your story reminds me of the poor woman who left it all and her seven kids were taken away from her. She made a good point about living in New York City in modern times and her former cult gets away with manipulating others including the law. It’s like none of that applies to them, they’re above it all.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Okay, I read the About page before I read the post. This did it for me: A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers.
    Once I read that whatever I read on the post was going to be negatively influenced by the religious component. And based on what I read I consider this was an accurate summation.

    Liked by 5 people

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