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Has your Facebook feed become an echo chamber? This app can fix that.

Just 5% of us regularly see views we strongly disagree with on social media. Here's how to change that.

Getting out of your filter bubble can be a useful experience, and thanks to a new app, it's as easy as pressing a button.

"But I don't live in a bubble," you might say. "I listen to a wide range of views." And maybe you'd be right! But a new exercise from the Kind Foundation puts that to the test with their "Pop Your Bubble" campaign and app.

Because as it turns out, just 5% of us regularly see posts on social media that we'd say "differ greatly" from our own worldview. And because of that, most of us aren't seeing the whole picture.


[rebelmouse-image 19526374 dam="1" original_size="750x390" caption="All images from the Kind Foundation/YouTube." expand=1]All images from the Kind Foundation/YouTube.

Social media makes information more readily available than ever before, but it also lets us choose what information we do or do not want to see.

In many ways, this can actually be a good thing — for example, it allows a lonely gay kid in a homophobic household to connect with a community that validates and supports their identity, while filtering out the kinds of anti-gay messages they already hear at home. The unintended side effect of this, however, is the way it can warp our perception of what the world outside is really like or how many people actually feel a certain way on an issue.

It's a phenomenon called the "filter bubble," a term coined in 2011 by Upworthy CEO Eli Pariser, and describes a distorted view of the world resulting from this über-personalized experience. Partially the result of our own choices and partially the result of social media algorithms, we all exist in our own filter bubbles that feed us information that fits our existing world views without challenging them too much.

The Pop Your Bubble app scans your Facebook profile for Likes, shares, and friends to get a sense of who you are and what sort of news you're regularly exposed to — then it offers up radical change.

The app offers you a slew of suggestions of people to follow that will add some ideological diversity to your news feed.

The question is: Are you up to the challenge?

More than half of all adults in a survey by the Morning Consult and the Kind Foundation said this is something they'd be interested in trying out. And, of course, if it's not working out for you or taking too much of a personal and emotional toll on your well-being, it's easy to unfollow any of the new additions to your newsfeed.

Getting outside our bubbles can help make us better, more effective and persuasive participants in political conversation. Even better, it can make us better, more empathetic people.

You won't agree with everything you see in your new post-bubble feed, and that's the whole point. And you certainly don't need to engage with every post you disagree with (in fact, maybe it's best to start just by listening and following the conversation).

Whether you're progressive, conservative, moderate, or something else entirely, it's a good idea to — at least occasionally — see what others are saying about the latest hot topic in politics, even if just to remind yourself that not everyone thinks the same way you do.

Of course, it's not anyone's responsibility to expose themselves to views they find abhorrent, or views that are dehumanizing or degrading, nor is it to suggest that those other views are necessarily right or worth giving equal consideration to. But for those who are interested in stepping outside the filter bubble, this can be a really useful tool worth giving a try.

Learn more about the Pop Your Bubble app on its website, and check out the cool video below from the Kind Foundation about the project.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

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Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

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Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

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Pets

Idaho pet squirrel amazingly thwarts a would-be burglar in resurfaced viral video

The suspect was identified by the scratches the squirrel left.

Idaho pet squirrel thwarts a would-be burglar.

Ahhh, yes! The attack squirrel. Every home should have one, or at least, that's what an Idaho man whose home was protected by his rescue-squirrel-turned-pet might think. Adam Pearl found Joey, his pet squirrel, in his yard, abandoned as a baby and unable to fend for himself. Pearl took him in and bottle-fed him until he was big enough to eat on his own.

The unique pairing continued for 10 months until a man looking to burglarize Pearl's home got the surprise of a lifetime. He was attacked by the squirrel! The fluffy-tailed critter thwarted the man's plan to rummage through Pearl's belongings.

One can only imagine the confusion and terror of being attacked by something that would've gently eaten out of Snow White's hands. The burglar was apparently after the homeowner's guns and likely wasn't expecting a squirrel to go, well, nuts on him. It gets even better though.

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This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


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via Pexels

Three different types of blood donations.

The AIDS epidemic that began in the early '80s cast a stigma on all men who have sex with men, regardless of their HIV status. The idea that gay and bisexual men were somehow dangerous to the general public because of a health crisis in their community added to the stigmatization that already came with being LGBTQ.

In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all men who have sex with men from donating blood. This rule stood until 2015 when the FDA lifted the lifetime ban for gay and bisexual males and limited it to men who had homosexual sex within the past year.

In 2020, the FDA eased restrictions on men who have sex with men again, due to a blood shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The abstinence period was shortened from a year to three months.

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