Bubble trouble


This is face 7 for 29 Faces using Spectrum Noir markers and another attempt at emulating the lovely Helen’s technique with markers. Finally using the full set of markers that Graham bought me several Christmases ago and that have mostly lain untouched, so I’m thrilled to be actually using them!


In other news ..the dilemma of the bubble. This is the bubble that surrounds us on social media. It’s partly put there by social media platforms themselves who filter our timelines and prioritise posts depending on our likes and dislikes. If you’re a Conservative supporter then posts about Jeremy Corbyn will not be featured highly, if at all, on your Facebook timeline. We also use our own filtering system and avoid or unfriend people because they have different standards or values to our own. We naturally surround ourselves with people who are likely to have a similar political outlook and religious views. Is that a good thing? Or not?

It has been pointed out that the bubble has disadvantages when social media platforms manipulate our likes and dislikes. We can begin to feel that everyone in our country or the world even, has the same belief system as us. It came as a huge surprise to many of us who voted to stay in Europe that a majority (of those who voted) wanted out. My Facebook and twitter timelines were full of Remainers and we were all preaching to the choir. The same with the American election, there didn’t seem to be any support for Trump amongst my own friends, so again it was a shock. Of course, people will vote how they’re gonna vote but the problem is that we may become complacent in our belief that our worst nightmare will never happen and because we are lulled into a false sense of our own positive outcome we may choose not to campaign or even vote.

Many of my Facebook friends are from the art community and I’ve always been incredibly impressed with the membership of Facebook art groups. Open, tolerant and non-judgemental, for the most part, they are just a joy with everyone being so supportive and protective of each other. However. being aware of the bubble danger,  if I receive a friend request I don’t usually check out political or religious views before accepting. Since the shock voting results, I’ve been actively trying to step outside my bubble, be more open and learn about other’s different points of view in order that I won’t be so surprised in the future. A cross section of opinion seemed to be a healthy option. Various viewpoints now pop up on my timeline in terms of both religion and politics that are not my own and I mostly let them pass without comment even if they seem inappropriate or ignorant.  Noted and move on. I don’t want to be disrespectful to other people even if they have very different opinions although I am concerned that they assume that everyone agrees with them. The more worrying alternative is that they are posting to be provocative and to cause upset and arguments.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve experienced several what could be termed as ‘hit and run’ posts on Facebook. This is where the poster publishes a highly contentious post which is so outrageous it’s hard to ignore and then takes one of two directions when they ‘get a bite’. They either delete all comments that they don’t agree with or they become defensive and turn it around to making themselves into the persecuted victim. These interactions are upsetting and a complete waste of energy.  So is the answer to only interact with the like minded? Stay safe in our own bubble? I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that, for the sake of my own mental health, that bubble is looking pretty good!











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Kim Forman

This is a difficult question to answer. I can ignore most things I find ignorant or offensive, but when someone starts being racists, I can rarely bite my tongue (or keep my fingers from the keyboard as the case may be). I *know* replying is going to start a flame war. And yet, I just can’t let it pass. I can’t let a racist comment sit there without rebuttal. Ignoring it is condoning it. Also, the teeny bit of discomfort I feel from the interaction is pathetic compared to people who have hate directed at them every single day based… Read more »


I think I prefer to keep my social media pretty bubbly, because dealing with these things in ‘real life’ is hard enough. I also will not give a platform to racist voices, so I weed those out pretty ruthlessly. It works for me.

Leslie Didier-Paquin

I hear you so much on this……it’s definitely a balancing act. I find myself able to step outside the bubble if folks can be respectful, if not, I don’t engage…..


I’m all for the bubble when it comes to facebook. It’s my facebook and I get to decide who is on it. I am not afraid to hide people, and will if pushed unfriend people and that’s OK. I get to decide what my facebook will be and like you say, for the sake of my mental and emotional health, I will keep my bubble. I may stretch that bubble sometimes, but when I decide and to the extent I decide. One thing I have learnt to do though is to stay out of the comments section on anything contentious.… Read more »


My personal page on FB is more or less a bubble. It includes a bunch of my old high school classmates, old teacher friends, church buddies, clients, former students, etc.m so there is bound to be some dusagrfrom time to time. I’m okay with that. I usually don’t argue unless it’s about education, my issue. However, I have no problem hitting the block button or the “I don’t want to see this” button. This is, after all, my timeline, and I don’t have time for a bunch of crap. Occasi do look at feeds from groups I know are in… Read more »


This is an interesting dilemma for sure. My sense, for myself, is that the boundaries that I set for social media is no different than the ones I would set for my life in general. Yes it is important to not judge others because they think and feel differently about certain issues as we do. No debate there! However, for me, toxic people have no place in my life. Be it in my life in general or on social media. My sanity depends on this. That’s my take on the ‘bubble’ 🙂