At our Grove Youth Series meeting last week I led a reflection on an observation that had been made about social media, especially Facebook, that it was like an echo chamber – something is said once and then heard over and over again. It can be mistaken for lots of different people saying the same thing, but an echo is just a repeat of the first time, and then a petering out in volume .
With Grove we are often seeking to be the first word on a topic rather than repeating what
is being said elsewhere and the subsequent discussion drew out some fascinating observations about social media. One group member is researching social media and apologetics and she talked about how people were tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. Another talked about how on social media you only saw the edited highlights of life and what a false perception this can be. Several of the group observed how echoes can be wrong with the recent election being a prime example for many of us whose feeds largely represented a particular perspective. A fascinating question is who is it that shouts first? Sally observed that on Friday Spurs were making a big deal about launching their kit on social media. An article in the paper talked about how models are booked now and their Instagram following can be very influential. More concerning is the bullying that happens and the people that get on that bandwagon. Sometimes it appears that opinions are being endorsed and legitimized because of what we see on social media. Social media often
reflects the skill with words or images of the person posting, however, we often have no idea of the integrity of who is posting and that may make a difference to our response. We also wondered if culturally we are predisposed to be an echo chamber, think of how many different funny minions pictures there are or the keep calm and series.
Yes, let’s agree with an opinion when we do, but let’s also speak against the flow . What if you don’t want to be part of the echo? Being deviant from the echo may be what we are being called to do…