The Importance of Thinking Beyond Your Bubble
By Julie Drybrough / fuchsiablueblog.wordpress.com

A few days after Paris Terrorist attacks, I’m in the pub with some friends and colleagues and I’m in conversation with someone about the attacks. Her response was very much aligned to mine, a sense of: more love/ less aggression = good response to the situation. Control, vengeance, fear = long-term scary response to the situation. We were blown away by the bravery the courage and the solidarity we saw.

But it’s where the conversation went next that stuck with me and I’m still mulling on. It was when she said everyone on Facebook agreed. Her timeline on Facebook, her Twitter feed, her news alerts all pointed to the incredible, liberal, make-love-not-war sense that she already had. And I realised, mostly mine did too.

But of course that’s bollocks. Not everyone agreed. Not everyone responded as we would like. Other Facebook feeds were doubtless awash with a counter-narrative that would have made me terrified/ want to weep.

I’d already been writing about “living in a bubble” – where digital algorithms “helpfully” put stuff in front of me that I already want to see (I search for a sofa on a whim, suddenly my digital life is awash with adverts whispering “sofa, madam?”) Whilst this “service” can be amazing (I am a sucker for an Amazon recommendation) it takes away my need to think, to seek, to question. The part about whether I actually NEED a sofa – that really important part, the questioning of need part, doesn’t come into play.

And so very quickly it becomes easy to find myself living in a world I have constructed – a world made as I want to see it. A world made up of the things I like, or believe I need; a world made up of the people I want to hear from, the views I mostly concur with; a world without the inconvenient irritations of “stuff I disagree with or don’t need”.

And that’s nice.

It’s nice until I come up close and personal with a view that is counter to mine, a narrative that is disagreeable or offensive or scary. Then I find myself suddenly without words. My critical faculties are dulled. My responses are kind of weak and inadequate. Or blunt and aggressive. My instinct is to be snarky and smart-arsed, or not engage – to walk away, to turn over the TV channel, to move to my happy place….I go basic. Fight. Flight.

but how helpful is that? At no point am I developing my capacity to articulate a counter-view…ah… that’s not great.

A world constructed of our own view doesn’t encourage thinking about, accounting for or arguing against other opinions…. So the things that would indicate we have a high EQ -curiosity, empathy, tolerance – get squashed; or are at least under developed. When we bump into an alternative view, we don’t have the skills or the responses to deal with these effectively. We reject outright:  That doesn’t fit with my world… RUN AWAY!!

At a basic level, if we want to work well together, our ability to think beyond our little bubbles and be curious about others is vital. Do we have learning strategies in our organisations that support critical thinking? Do our leadership courses reflect the need to deal with differing information, be curious about differing viewpoints, and understand some of the positive implications of “difference”?

In order to survive and thrive, I’d argue critical thinking has more value than many of the leadership/management models we throw out in courses.

In fact I’d argue it is the basis for change and without it, without acting on it, everything remains the same.

Think about the decision makers in organisations. If the above is true for your Board or your leaders, if all they get is the stuff that makes them happy, if they are unwilling to look at the inconvenient truths; if, in the face of diverse opinion, they respond by ignoring or becoming aggressive, where does that leave us? A bunch of folk talking AT each other. Whoever is noisiest or nastiest wins? Lots of little bubbles of thought, unconnected and merrily broadcasting their world view without challenge? Where’s the change or progression in that?

This is why I choose to work dialogically. To work the difference. To acknowledge the value of diversity of thought. To say the unpalatable constructively. To open up debate & new possibilities. To get to a place of understanding that is richer than a mono-view. It’s not lovely pleasant stuff at times – it can be damned uncomfortable to listen to something you don’t want to hear and so it requires some care and some kindness. It can be damned uncomfortable to disagree with someone – especially when all those lovely Contrary View muscles have been atrophied through lack-of-use.

There are some big scary narratives out there at the moment, socially, politically & organisationally. We need voices and actions that move us away from fear-mongering short-sighted narrow focussed guff. In times of intolerance and stuck systems, more than ever we need tolerance, open thinking and leaders who have the bravery and the articulation to tackle the tough stuff.

So I’d say: Step away from the bubble…See what is beyond…

and in the spirit of thinking critically, what would you say?


This post is, in part, inspired by thinking and writing in David D’souza‘s Fragmented Workforce post in Training Journal last month, where I wrote alongside Sukh PabialPerry Timms & David Goddin

& interesting insight into what can happen on your Facebook feed: I liked everything I saw on Facebook for two days and here’s what it did to me

and thanks to Jon Bartlett for sharing this on Twitter in response to the blog: Hossein Derakhshan was imprisoned by the regime for his blogging. On his release, he found the internet stripped of its power to change the world and instead serving up a stream of pointless social trivia 

Follow the author on Twitter: @fuchsia_blue

4.3 ·
2
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 15,607 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...
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
Daniel Quinn · 9,340 views today · In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 2,970 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...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 1,335 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...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 1,011 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.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 958 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...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 905 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 892 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...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 738 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...
Bitter Lake (2015)
136 min · 737 views today · Adam Curtis: Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 639 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 608 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 544 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...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 447 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 442 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 396 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...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 391 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...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 357 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 · 328 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...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 289 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
The Importance of Thinking Beyond Your Bubble