How To Break Out Of Your Echo Chamber


So with the UK’s #ge2015 I learn there’s a myth busted about social media winning elections.

In fact, a nuance is observed.

Social media does not change views. Rather, it reinforces those already held.

The image above I screenshot from a BBC Newsnight piece on this phenomenon. It’s called the Echo Chamber.

Your messages may get merrily re-swotted cyberly. Yet only around those with views duly aligned with yours. New convert eyes they do not reach.

(Here’s a Wired piece on this from two years prior, and the wikipedia page.)

This immediately struck me as similar to bias we meet on a complex sale.

Classic Miller-Heimanites will cite the political mapping that leads you to encourage a key advocate to approach a red-flagged doubter armed with vested interest angles.

Way easier said than done, the wizened preach.

There’s a nascent web meme around tactics to break out of an echo chamber. Here’s a few, along with more Sales advice others trigger:

  • Seek those with willing open mind
  • Find the idea ‘brokers’
  • Point to restrictions of self-confirming opinions
  • Encourage a work-through of different angles
  • Propose a thought-experiment
  • Question myopia
  • Deliberately introduce the ‘left-field’
  • Devil’s advocate ‘expertise’ (or bring different ‘informed opinion’)

Whatever the validity of some of these, the point remains that framing your solution bid supporters prospectside as either in- or outside your echo chamber can give an extra winning slant to your required moves.

My experience lends me to pursue the concept of an ‘idea broker’, nod along to the advice of considering an ‘opposite view’, and think to discuss the extent to which ‘informed opinion’ applies.

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