3 Ways You Can Use Social Media to Expand Your Worldview.
People regularly come up to me and say, “Parker, I really like your writing. I just don’t always agree with it.” Here’s a secret: neither do I, and that’s a good thing.
3 Ways You Can Use Social Media to Expand Your Worldview.
By Parker Molloy / medium.com

And when I say that, it’s not to say that I write things I don’t believe in or agree with, but that depending on when I wrote it, I may no longer agree with the core message or details. Why? Because I’m a human being, because I don’t cling to beliefs simply for the fact that I’ve believed them for a long time, and I’m not afraid to admit that sometimes I get it wrong.

We all get it wrong. I’m sure that reading this back in five years, there’ll be a handful of things I’m writing in this very post I’ll wholeheartedly disagree with. But for now, this is me.


In my life, I’ve held more than my fair share of cringeworthy views.

Some of these things had to do with reflections of my own self-loathing. Some of these stemmed from internalizing some of society’s oppressions, like transphobia, biphobia, homophobia, misogyny. Others were simply ignorance — sometimes willful, sometimes innocent.

Over the past couple of years, I began to dig deeper within myself to address the question of why I believe what I believe, and whether that was right. It starts with evaluating the biases that exist in the world and within ourselves.

Harvard’s Implicit Association Test is an interesting look at the implicit biases you may have.

And we all have some. Whether it’s on race, gender, mental health status, income level, or something else, we all have our own personal biases — and it’s good to know about them. These tests are a neat (and quick) look at that.

It’s okay to “fail” these tests, and it’s not your fault if you do! That’s the whole point: it gives you a point of reference to work from and improve upon. For example, let’s say your result on the race bias test indicates that you show a moderate automatic preference for European Americans (meaning that you’re implicitly biased against black people). With this information, you can begin to think critically about your encounters with people of different races, paying close attention to whatever your impulse is.

Some scoff at social media, claiming it’s little more than a time-suck. They’re wrong.

Or, rather, they can be wrong, provided you use it the right way.

Let’s say, that like me, you grew up in a sheltered suburb outside Chicago. Your youth was spent surrounded by other students who looked just like you, teachers who looked just like you, all the while learning a curriculum that paints historical figures who look like you in an artificially positive light. Let’s say that anyone who didn’t look like you was treated with suspicion by authority figures. Let’s say that you lacked the ability and/or desire to empathize with those others.

How do you break that cycle? After all, where you grow up really isn’t of your own choosing, the concept of normality you’re taught isn’t up to you, and you lack the reference point to see how flawed your views can be.

Now, thanks to social media, it’s possible to live wherever it is you are and connect with others virtually anywhere in the world. It’s possible to learn the history you were never taught in school. It’s possible to see the world for the vast, diverse bit of awesomeness it really is.

Only in taking a look outside of the small world you were raised can you begin to chip away at all the ways in which you’re clueless.

Here are 3 really simple things you can do on social media to expand your worldview.

1. Follow people whose views differ from yours in a major way.

This isn’t to say you need to agree with their worldview, just that you accept it exists. You’ll almost certainly find your initial understanding and assumptions were wrong (or at least exaggerated).

2. Shut up and listen.

You do not need to be the center of attention, and if you’re trying to see outside your box, you need to accept that. You cannot hear if you’re too busy talking. Follow, listen, but don’t insert yourself into their conversations.

It’s why I have the word “listen” tattooed on met arm.

3. Be open to the possibility that you’re wrong (or at least not 100% right).

And don’t be afraid to admit it to yourself and to others. There’s no shame in evolving your worldview.

So go on! Expand that worldview

Help make the world a more understanding place!

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 18,206 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 10,359 views today · PART ONE A fable to start with Once upon a time life evolved on a certain planet, bringing forth many different social organizations—packs, pods, flocks, troops, herds, and...
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 8,583 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 4,741 views today · Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 3,168 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
Solidarity Is About What You Do - Not Who You Are.
R.L. Stephens · 2,294 views today · I am Black. I capitalize Black and leave white lowercased. Sure, it’s the accepted spelling, but really I do it because it feels good. My family lived in Missouri, but my...
How Native Americans Managed "Wild" Land Long Before Settlers
Sami Grover · 2,261 views today · When European settlers first came to North America, they assumed they were looking at "untouched" nature. Sure, there were native peoples, but history tells us they didn't...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 1,941 views today · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
Bioregional Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Place in Which You Live?
Rua Lupa · 1,607 views today · In the vast emptiness of space there are an unimaginable number of galaxies, each galaxy containing billions upon billions of stars. Looking at one galaxy we find an average...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,409 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 1,351 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 965 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt · 879 views today · We don't need no education. At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet...
Why People's Opinions of You Aren't Real
4 min · 712 views today · "You are what you love and not what loves you." - From Charlie Kaufman's film "Adaptation"
How Stress Affects Your Brain
4 min · 689 views today · Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 651 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 646 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 613 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
What Is Universal Basic Income?
2 min · 568 views today · What is Universal Basic Income? Everyone's talking about a 'citizen's income' or 'basic income', but what on earth is it?! It sounds like a Utopian dream, but support for a...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 524 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
3 Ways You Can Use Social Media to Expand Your Worldview.