Filter Bubbles – Spoken Word

Filter Bubbles

By HD Fuller

We are drowning in sources of information,
floundering in the rip-tide of voices
so we must make choices.

Where will we turn to hear the news?
Which friends will we listen to?
Who can we trust?

When the sun droops low on a busy day,
my energies fading
tenacity waning
and I’m reminded that it’s my responsibility
to participate in the meta-conversation…
to partake of the citizen’s libation…
with dragging feet and drudging step,
I choose the easiest path.

Not interested in a challenge,
I tune in,
plug in,
to the channel, stream or feed
that will provide me with the most information…
but the least aggravation.

But that’s the problem.

Looking for consolation,
and comfort…
wanting to know that everything
turns out okay,
despite today…
I don’t want words that are critical.

I’m not looking for analytical precision,
my indecision want to be good enough.
Please don’t get up in my face,
and challenge my place in this discussion.

But the least confrontational sources
are those that already agree with me.
And whatever source I choose
to mainline my news….
I’m hooked…
because they feed me solace…

and they need me no less than I need them.

They’re more than happy to concede to me
the credit for the insight they’ve
pumped into my veins…

as long as I keep coming back.

Because that’s their job.

It’s what they do.

No need to be accurate in dissertation,
nor provide transparency in this isolation,
holding truth hostage to ratings and spin
in a world that gets dimmer…
and dimmer…
and dim.

But we keep coming back for one more fix,
though it all stays broken.

It’s what they do…
standing beside us on the picket lines,
at the protests,
in our places of worship,
“live on the scene” of obscenity and excess….
glancing askance to assure themselves that
they are us…
and we are they…
and everyone agrees that the “others”
are not.

It’s a competition for our attention.

The noise on all sides,
bombards us with information,
never pausing,
never stopping,
ever moving,
every plying us with words
and news
and ire
and rage
and hate and hurt
and hurt and hate
and hate and hurt…
and hate…

and hurt…

It’s nothing but an echo chamber, you see,
reflecting our own views back at us,
spun so elegantly
to spires
of hope….
and hate.

And hurt.

When did we allow corporate media
to declare us incompetent?
Unable to take in information,
assimilate data,
weigh the merits
and choose for ourselves?

Where has our critical thinking gone?

But maybe they’re right.

In an echo chamber of such caliber,
we become so easily mis-calibrated.
The numbers are skewed,
the data is weighted.

And what True North can be found
to re-direct us…
correct us.
To clear our ears and fell the scales from our eyes,
when everything we hear or see
is tainted and biased…
by us?

This redundantly globalized world of ours
seems so unbelievably complex…
intricate and inter-related,
carefully balanced…

But that’s no excuse for putting on blinders
and narrowing our view.

People are no more complex
than they were yesterday…
no more simple than they will be tomorrow.

Of course it’s complicated!
It always has been.

While the conditions in which we live
seem to deteriorate daily,
the world falling apart at the seams….
our partisan government floundering,
politicians pounding on their lecterns,
and bickering
and sticking it to the little guy.

Children are suffering…
families dividing…
and again and again…
and despite our best efforts or worst intentions,
we are no different from our predecessors:
predestined to fail.

We are only human.

But we are still humane.

Still in need of love,
and survivors.

In this spiritual famine,
we gorge our souls
on the hope
that there is still good in others.

No matter how difficult or demanding,
or surreal our lives become…

no matter how obscure the facts
or how argumentative the voices,
ringing ever louder,
shouting for our attention,
vying for our time
while burying us in lies…

we can still find our True North.

So if you’re looking for the truth in the noise,
turn to God.

Lock onto the magnetic attraction
that has been calling to your soul.
Let it turn you slowly,
spinning you wholly around,
aligning your pole to that greatest rarity…

The one true source of clarity.

Let Him pull you and direct you
in the midst of this modern maelstrom.

However you see Him,
wherever you find Him,
He’s meeting you there,
where lowly and Holy collide.

Hold tightly
and wrest with the one
who has sacrificed for you
in ways that no politician ever will.

Never begrudging our struggle
or our doubt,
He stood vigil over us
even as our hearts withdrew…
grew cynical…..
hardened with the calcification
of bickering and deceit.

He has wept.

He is still weeping.

For us. For you.

He is NOT silent in this day.
He’s not as far away
as we force him to seem,
not careless or uncaring,
preordaining our final days
in ways set apart,
too lofty for our comprehension.

He does not sit back
as the clockwork unwinds,
watching the show as our souls unravel…
inevitably extinguishing…
ultimately exsanguinating
the hearts and minds
once created in His image.


He is ever-present.

He is entangled in the evolution of our nation…
woven into the patriotism
that riots within us.

He routs apprehensions,
shatters pretensions,
grows fruitful branches in barren wastelands
and roots our families in the rich loam of faith.

Why, then, do we insist on rushing and racing,
always pushing,
out-pacing each other
into the terrifying unknown?
Cursing a loving God for forsaking,
never taking the time to reach out a hand,
each one demanding with fists closed tight,
unable to grasp the grace of love undeserved?

Why do we stand resolutely in despair?

He’s there…
patiently saying
that the weighing of the merit of our souls
has come up short,
yet been redeemed in full.

He waits,
but he does not wait idly.

He traces the very placement of our feet,
brushes the breath in our lungs
with life and vitality,
lining reality with His love and His grace…
grinding down the edges of this world
into which we hurl
with such reckless abandon.

He waits patiently
for us to stop stumbling blindly into the darkness
of our own shadows cast before us…
waits for the moment
that will be for us
the final step too far.

Turn around, for God’s sake. He is the light!

Stop running and join him on HIS path.
The shadows will fall away,
lost to an irrelevant past.

Turn back
before you run off an unseen cliff,
reach out and accept
the light that is offered,
holding tight to the promise,
because once it’s in your hand….
that warm consoling, expanding
force against the darkness,
there is nothing that can hide from you.

There is no issue,
no debate,
no terrorist,
no hate,
no hurt
that can plunge you back into darkness….
and in truth,
there is no lack of truth
to be found.

Should you one day find
that you’ve fallen,
eyes grown dim,
and you’ve dropped again
to your knees in the dark,
searching once more
for something apart…
nearly grasping,
glancing off your figertips…
ever one more ache,
one more wretched stretch away…
spun around,
around again,
direction lost,
death closing in on every side….

Turn around.

Open your eyes.

Reach out to God and immerse yourself
in the light of His Word….
bathe your parched and thirsty flesh
in the nourishment of divinity
drawn from the deepest upwelling of love.

You might not always like what you hear,
whispered or shouted from nearer than expected….

but it will always be loving,
and it will always be…

The Truth.

The term “filter bubble” was coined by Eli Pariser in his 2011 book by the same name. The term refers to the fact that online algorithms that track our internet usage and preferences filter the information that is returned in searches and news feeds. The end result is that we never see anything that we don’t like… or disagree with. Check out Eli’s site for further information.

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