I have written about echo chambers here quite a few times. Why? Because I have people in my life that have gotten sucked into tribalism, fueled by ceaseless echo chambers. I have seen the effects on them as their views are affirmed, never challenged, and they slide further and further in. One could, on a cursory glance think I am a victim of the same, and I get that. For me, I expose myself to a range of viewpoints within a space. For instance, Doug Wilson, Stephen Wolfe, and James White. If you think these men are united behind Christian Nationalism, you haven’t looked hard enough. I agree with White on many things and have followed him for the majority of my adult life. Much the same with Doug. White and Wilson get along much of the time, but White and Wolfe are at each other’s throats regularly.
Why do I bring up this example? Well, you are what you eat. You’ve heard that phrase, right? It’s a little weird. Well this week I am tacos. But applied to consumption of a different kind, it floats well. In the last few weeks I have been listening to audiobooks in all my available downtime. 600+ pages at this point. I am consuming a ton. When it comes to reading online, I prefer long-form articles over social media. If all I were consuming was snarky one-off posts, dank memes, and spit-fire takes against the latest thing, I would start to turn snarky, dank, and spit-fire. I know this about myself. I’ve seen it. I can feel that in my stomach, like the rising cynic that must always be denied in me. Hello darkness, never my friend.
We are told to watch what we eat, but then even Christians zone out in front of glowing screens consuming what could only be described as filth. Less degradingly, one could point that what we consume is often not edifying, does not build up others, does not encourage us, does not instruct us, etc. There is a place for entertainment, sure, but we as Christians must be mindful even there. If you watch a lot of violent content, it will start to darken your soul. If you read a lot of angry, sniping social media content, what do you think it will do to your heart? Have you thought about that?
If you only have an hour a day to consume, what should you intentionally consume? Facebook, Twitter, an audiobook about the crusades? Do you have a direction in your life? “I want to improve in this area.” Are you working in that direction? Think of it like losing weight. You choose to focus on specific things at the gym, change your diet, etc. to accomplish this goal. Maybe make goals when it comes to what you consume elsewhere and be just as intentional about your heart, soul, and mind as many are about their bodies.