It’s a basic human fact that most of us—whether we readily admit it or not—like to surround ourselves with like-minded people.
Aside from the social circles of our choosing though, are the pre-determined political bubbles we’re born into; bubbles that can be formed as a result of race, socio-economic status, geography, and education level. It can be hard to see beyond these little vacuums of belief we’re all encased in, which is why this new interactive tool just published by the New York Times is so interesting.
It allows you to enter your address, and see the political reality of the area in which you live, and its surroundings. Quick note—this interactive tool is for US readers only, so if you’re trying to figure out if your neighbours are shipping ScoMo (the horror), it ain’t happening.
And sure, if you’re in a particularly left or right-leaning county or state, the overarching results might not shock you, but it’s kind of fascinating to see how these political beliefs shift and change as you travel further away from your bubble.
Life might be easier when you’re solely dealing with people on your wavelength, but it turns out these echo chambers aren’t great for our own personal development, or society at large. They lead us to assume everyone else thinks the same (cue shock election results of 2016), and cause more radical reactions when you come across people outside of your bubble that have polar opposite beliefs. Or as Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, says in the NYT article, ‘It’s a lot easier to demonize people on the other end of the political spectrum if you don’t personally know many of them. That’s not a healthy situation for the country.’
If you want to go and pop your political bubble, head to New York Times here.