Echo Chambers Make Things Worse


By Dylan Siegal, Contributing Writer

Attending a global, liberal university like NYU allows students to engage with like-minded individuals from around the world, but it provides little exposure to opposing viewpoints. While students are encouraged to vocalize their beliefs, the extensive and outspoken nature of our liberal campus often overshadows the voices of differing viewpoints. Small town perspectives such as those from Youngstown, Ohio – a manufacturing town in which Trump’s promises to save middle-class jobs incited great hope – are lost among the abundance of voices within New York City that share similar political perspectives. Rather than forgetting or ignoring the voices of those we don’t agree with or are rarely exposed to, we must make an effort to understand them in order to embark change.

Many people see the Democratic party as open-minded. But today, democrats often ostracize those with opposing viewpoints. Many have retreated into their echo chambers and shut people down or refused to listen to them just because they don’t identify with the same party. Certainly, there are ideals the Democratic party must continue to reject. As liberals, but more importantly, as humans, they must reject racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia. This is where the line must be drawn in the sand.

The fact that black lives matter is non-negotiable and should not be a controversial topic. Liberals should not stand for a Muslim database, especially in a country that was founded on the freedom of religion. A ban on tens of millions of immigrants cannot be supported in a country made of and by those immigrants. It is deeply upsetting that there are people who attempt to bargain with these concepts, people who say that all lives matter and that Islam is hurting American values. But instead of deleting these people from their lives, liberals should make a conscious effort to talk to the other side. Talking to the opposition makes it easier to understand different people’s mindsets in the context of specific environmental factors.

Not everyone is exposed to the same level of diversity or education. Gender studies should be a required curriculum for all high school students, but it isn’t. Unfortunately, most people have never heard of the concepts of intersectionality or toxic masculinity. Maybe you were privileged enough to read Marilyn Frye, but most were not, and shutting out those who may not understand social constructs as well as you do accomplishes nothing. If we want a more tolerant country so badly, we have to start talking to people instead of alienating them. If we go about it respectfully, maybe people will begin to listen.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them. 

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 6 print edition. Email Dylan Siegal at [email protected]