Our family strives to have dinner together every night but with varying work schedules, travel schedules, sporting games, & practices, sometimes nightly families dinners become more of a wish than a reality As my boys have gotten older, our breakfast time has become more important, travel aside, it is the one time we are all together. It’s not uncommon for us to have the morning news on in the background and I love the conversations we have as a result. Not too long ago, we had the news on when the entire morning news cycle was consumed by Comey’s testimony. Political beliefs aside, I have been & continue to be appalled by (& apparently outspoken about) the actions of our current President. As we sat and watched the morning headlines, I overheard the comments my boys were making and realized how much they were repeating information they had absorbed from me! My husband, a Brit but also a US Citizen, has always been able to take a more middle of the road approach when talking to our kids about politics. “No, we may not like the actions of our president, but he still deserves our respect, etc” He is quick to point out multiple perspectives and provides the counterbalance to my vocal opinions. In fact, recently he called me out on how one-sided my views were and he was right. Guilty, as charged.
But, I’m not alone. It turns out our world is becoming more and more siloed into our beliefs, ideas and perspectives and not just about politics. So much so, that The Kind Foundation launched a social media experiment in 2017 that challenged Americans to add different perspectives to their social media feeds after learning that only 5% of what people see in their news feed differs from their own personal opinions. 5%! I found that number to be shocking, especially because I consider myself to be so open-minded and accepting. I guess it shouldn’t be so surprising given that our natural tendency as humans is to surround ourselves with like-minded people and ideas.
Unlike common social media algorithms, the Pop Your Bubble “anti-algorithm” scanned a user’s profile and actively found other users whose profile was LEAST like theirs. Specifically, it matched users with those who had different demographics such as geographic location, age, and political affiliations. As a part of the campaign, users were encouraged to follow at least 10 new people whose posts would then appear into their daily feed.
Official results of their study haven’t been released, but the data the KIND Foundation has shared is pretty incredible. In the first two weeks of the campaign, Pop Your Bubble resulted in more than 140 million earned media impressions. But more importantly, within the first two weeks of the campaign, users established over 40,000 new relationships furthering the KIND Foundation’s message to connect people from all walks of life, one conversation, and encounter at a time. While the Pop Your Bubble campaign is no longer active, The Kind Foundation continues to offer advice on how to get outside of your bubble. Advice that is so relevant to the work we do in education.
In a time where our world is becoming even more polarized, I LOVE that ASCD is challenging us to seek out new perspectives at this year’s #Empower19 conference in Chicago. What might you need to do differently to “pop your bubble?” I don't know about you but I am accepting this challenge head-on and am excited to encounter new people, ideas and perspectives that will shape my thinking ultimately making me a better leader. I am heading to Chicago ready to meet new people, build new relationships and have new conversations! I hope to see you there,