In honor of my 1,001th post:
How do you react when your blog is followed by someone whose viewpoint isn’t completely aligned with your own? What if he or she seems to be diametrically opposed?
What if, for example, you identify as a political moderate, but you have a follower who’s an anarchist, leftist, alt-righter or conspiracy theorist? Do you follow back and stay friends?
Before you answer — and I encourage you to do so in the comments below — consider the implications in a google-ized, Facebooky world. These apps put things in your news feed based on your history of “likes” and whonyour friends are. Apps contain algorithms that calculate your interests based on how much time you spend looking at certain images. And your profiles are public.
Which means if you want to be able to influence them you have to be willing to allow them to influence you. You have to be willing to really share and communicate.
I’m inclined to take my example from Hermes-Thoth, the interlocutor, ambassador and mediator. I follow an incredible range of blogs, some of which are written my folks whose views are often opposed to mine. I follow them because they follow me. There must be dialogue.
But I confess I’m not immune to concern about what others will say, and I also worry that my incoming news feeds are being filled with negatively influential things.
Are my feelings justified or irrational?