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CAREER


but not to their own facts. Right now, so- cieties in many countries are divided into two (or more) groups with opposing views on every subject. Tey not only have dif- ferent opinions but they also see the same facts differently. Tere seems to be no happy medium. Everything is black or white, there is no grey anymore. Tat po- larisation is especially evident in politics. Tere is no center, for example, you ‘have’ to be either a communist or fascist. I was born in Spain, half of my family is


from the USA, and I currently live in the UK. As a result, I follow the political sce- narios in these three countries very closely, and the lack of common sense is worri- some. But it is not only these countries that are grappling with a divided society. Rather than naively thinking that the gap between groups and mindsets will shrink, I believe that the ideological differences are getting bigger. An enormous influence on this polarisa-


tion is the widespread introduction of an element that we never had in the past: dig- ital media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc ‘know’ us so well that their algorithms feed us the news that fits our ideological views. We do not need to overtly tell them what we think; they collect so much infor- mation that they already know so much about us.


20 FOCUS The Magazine January/February 2020


Digital media provides us with two types


of content. Te first is the information shared by our friends or contacts, that nor- mally arrives accompanied by their opin- ion. Te second type of content is the information we receive from the media, for example, news alerts. Whether you follow CNN or Fox News, read Te Guardian or Te Telegraph, you create your own view of the world or ‘reality’ based on what that specific media source is showing you. Bolstered by further articles, posts and opinions that support your viewpoint, every day you feel more confident that your reality is the right one. Te grey area no longer exists and we do not use com- mon sense anymore. Te real challenge is to have the capacity


to see the facts – and they should be the same facts for everyone – from outside of our “comfort zone”, through the eyes of those who do not think like us. We are los- ing that wonderful ability of saying: “You are right, I have never thought that way before.” We want to be right so badly that we are losing the capacity to make a judg- ment without any outside interference or bias in reporting. Like most of you, leaving the comfort


zone of my country and living as an expat in different countries has given me the capacity to see things differently. Not long ago, I read this wonderful quote attributed


www.focus-info.org


“In a society dominated by what we read and see in digital media, it is more important than ever to travel, to see with your own eyes people from other countries, other cultures, other religions, and to understand their point of view.”


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