The Threat to An Open Mind

Apr 22, 2013, Written by Sue Miley

The internet has become the walking companion, and secret invisible friend, to almost every generation alive today.  This e-friend subliminally and, in some cases, obviously, wants to narrow our thoughts, views and options to what we believe today we are interested in.

Ads pop-up recommending what you liked or were interested in yesterday.  The people you follow represent your interests, and more of the same are soon recommended to add to your eclectic group of online friends.  Yet, soon they all look the same.

Our Choices Are Filtered By Algorithms

We get to choose, yes.  Which seems it would lend itself to opening up our views and increasing our open-mindedness.  Yet our choices become algorithms that lead to all sources of information being filtered, until all that comes out of the other end is more of the same.

More of the same seems like the antithesis of the open-minded.

A key to staying open-minded would seemingly need a foundation of variety and differences to keep the opening broad.  Allowing the variety to approach you is one characteristic of open-mindedness.

Patience is a Sister Attribute to Open-mindedness

Another is to have enough patience to truly absorb and take in the extremes, the depth, the different.  Wait long enough to form your own strong opinion in order to be fully exposed to the others.  This is hard.  For me I need the Holy Spirit’s fruit of patience as God did not naturally gift me that way.

I do have a benefit now in that God called me to help others.  To do this, listening is imperative.  It has stretched my patience to allow me not to form opinions too quickly and has absolutely improved my open-mindedness.

Maybe that is His way of providing me with the fruit of patience.

Worldly Opinions

But the world fights to sell you on their opinion.  Companies want you to make only one choice.  Them.

Advances in technology have created the ability to provide us with more information and views than ever imagined a few decades ago.  Technology leaders are using the background architecture to actual narrow our choices and views, rather than expand them.

We Must Exercise Our Right to Choose

We still have a choice though.  We have to exercise it like anything else.  Technology is a tool, not the enemy itself.  If we sit on the couch as the ultimate consumer, and accept the recommended over the new and different, we let others choose for us.  We have to fight against the companies that say there is only one way.  We have to get off our lazy rears and search out new interests, new friends, and new experiences.

Online and in person.

If we don’t, we risk our open-mindedness.

It’s a choice.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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