John Kenneth Galbraith, in his 1958 book The Affluent Society, popularized the term "conventional wisdom." It refers to a world-view generally accepted by everyone as fact, without question. He could not have foreseen how the social web could both splinter -- and reinforce -- this concept.
Do you actively seek out different opinions than your own, or unwittingly reinforce your personal conventional wisdom by only consuming "agreeable" content? While we may think it is the former -- who doesn't have a self-image of being open-minded? -- too often, we live in a bubble.
The promise of the social web was connection and communication: it was the great equalizer that gave every voice an ear. Over the last few years, this has been badly eroded, much to our collective detriment. Consider why:
In case there is a question about whether this is for the good or for the bad, consider these two points:
Finding your tribe on LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube might be exciting. Contributing and conversing with them even more so. But when we self-select ourselves into a social bubble, we miss an opportunity to grow ourselves, and the value of our network. Choosing to reinforce our personal conventional wisdom is self-perpetuating, and isolating.
What to do? Shake it up: Get your news from different sites. Comment on posts from different bloggers. And explore what your network is doing beyond what is presented or filtered for you on the social networks. Galbraith would be pleased.
Follow Randall Craig on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@randallcraig