And that has to be the hardest resolution of all. I also think it may be the most important.
Social media is an approval machine. That's what makes it so compelling. That's also what makes it an echo chamber. We seek approval, we get approval, and the algorithms behind the scenes promote the loudest voices. The real winners are the platforms and advertisers. I heard it put this way by Johan Goldberg on an NPR interview this morning, platforms "monitize dopamine clicks."
When we disagree with our peers, we don't get liked, and we may get flamed -- if not by our friends, by our friends' friends. I know from my readings on division that I am by no means alone in echoing and amplifying the voices of my community. I also know I am not alone when I avoid expressing views that could alienate me from my friends or invite harsh criticism.
I am a liberal with progressive leanings who doesn't agree with every progressive position. The truth is it is much easier for me to post and comment on issues I know the right will disagree with than on issues many of my friends on the left will disagree with. This is every bit as true for right leaning people. And it's understandable. We're herd animals.
But the echo chamber not only perpetuates and intensifies a "I'm right; you're wrong" culture that is quite literally killing us, it blinds us to complexity and stifles our creativity. So I make the most difficult of these resolutions today. Tomorrow, one last resolution, that I know I am going to need.