How do you normally get your news?
Major network TV stations? Cable news networks? The newspaper? Social media? YouTube? Email updates?
Thinking about your preferred news outlet, is it biased? Of course not, right?
In a world of fake news, every news outlet now says that they are the one and only who is telling the unvarnished truth. Given such claims, we can feel overwhelmed and confused seeking out the truth. Hardly any of us have the time to research news reports, fact-check, and sift through multiple points of view. It is just too much work to become investigative journalists in the middle of our already busy lives. Usually, we resort to trusting one news source. What happens when we trust just one news source, though, is something called siloing.
Siloing is a concept we here where I live, Lancaster County, can envision quite well. A farmer loads their grain into a silo, and when they do, they do not mix grains. In one silo they store one kind of grain. Mixing the grain would make it impossible to sell on the market. Could you imagine trying to sell a mix of corn, wheat, and barley? Silos do the important work of keeping grains separate. That’s good work.
The concept of ideological or cultural siloing, however, can be very damaging. Ideological or cultural siloing occurs when we keep ideas or ourselves separate from those who think or seem different from us. When we listen to only one news source, or news sources from only one perspective, we are siloing, we are insulating ourselves from hearing other points of view.
The result of ideological or cultural siloing is that we become entrenched in one way of looking at the world. To illustrate, if we primarily watch Fox News, we will start to see the world through the lens of the ideology of Fox News. Likewise, if we primarily watch CNN, we will start to see the world through the lens of the ideology of CNN.
I want you to consider something: We do not shape the viewpoints of the news outlets we watch. They shape us. The news outlets from which we receive our news and commentary are promoting ideology that influences our thinking. We are not only informed, but also reformed into new people, when we allow their voices into our lives, heads, and hearts. Siloing is a powerful cultural force.
The result of siloing is that people come to view those outside their silo as not just wrong, but as evil. We view people outside our silos as not just having a different opinion, but as the enemy. When we view others as evil enemies, we are much more prone to express emotions and anger toward them. Siloing results in people hating and harming those from other viewpoints.
Interestingly, we can believe that expressing hate and harm is justified because it will change our culture for good, albeit a good that is usually right in line with how we view the world. To change the world, then, we begin to believe that we must eliminate the evil enemy. So we unleash culture war.
Can culture war change the world? What would Jesus say? Would he agree with your silo? With your news outlet?
That’s what we’re going to look into on the blog next week. It’s current events week, and I want to talk about how to change the world. It’s a big topic, isn’t it?
Join me on the blog next week, as I talk about it further.
Photo by chris robert on Unsplash
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