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Mohammad Alzamel

Listening to others can be very difficult - especially when their opinions are so different than ours. Still, how precious is it to us when we hear someone, someone with a different perspective even more so, validate our thoughts and feelings. As a Muslim, I oftentimes face this issue when having discussions with those of various religions. Feminists in particular find it difficult to listen to a Muslim man discuss feminine power in my Middle Eastern society which is oftentimes looked at as "oppressive towards women." I find it is nearly impossible to get them to listen to me. There is a context to our society that is not oftentimes heard by Western culture. While women play a *different* role than men in our society, there is a historical and cultural context that must also be considered. Thus, the only way that this can come to fruition is through listening. I found this TEDTalk, which follows the conversation of two very different individuals with different world views, to be a positive reminder that through dialogue, we are able to open our own minds and the minds of others without having to be harsh or rude. It is a truly valuable tool in our ability to communicate as human beings.

Jessica G

Even though pushing aside our own views is extremely difficult, it is vital that we should push them aside and truly connect with one another. Without the introductions of different ideas, nothing would ever change. I really liked Mohammad's point about communicating is valuable as human beings. Communication is what makes us who we are and shapes the way we think, feel, and act. If we just focus on our own views and push aside other people because we do not like what they believe in or think, then we will never learn new things and will become an aggressor more than a progressor. I have experienced being disliked for what I believe in, not only did it put me down about my beliefs, but it made me realize that the person who disagreed would never learn to communicate effectively if they would not put their beliefs aside and focus on other beliefs. Without understanding and communication, we are no longer a society, but a immense debate tournament.


The ideals of western civilization can be difficult to live up to if you are unwilling to compromise your opinions with that of those who oppose them. Both Joan and John touch on how we openly segregate ourselves by ideas, beliefs, and forms of entertainment. While the feeling of being apart of a group with shared ideas provides a sense of belonging, it, unfortunately, comes with the counterproductive consequence of living as Joan and John put in a "bubble". With complex problems that exist within our society, it is nearly impossible to uphold the American vision of freedom and equality while silencing the concerns of others. I believe listening to the views opposite of our own can provoke emotions that aren't always positive, however, the beauty of humanity is our ability to create through the integration of differing ideas. This is how we excel solving problems at advanced levels, as well as, how we create technology that supersedes its predecessors.

Alissa Federico

I personally agree with what is being said. In our generation we tend to filter out opinions we don't agree with, and only pay attention to ideas similar to ours. Even though it is sometimes difficult to listen to others opinions about topics we feel so sure about, it is important to connect with others and see from a different point of view. I think that technology has affected this a lot because it allows you to be able to connect with people who are like yourself which can be great but on the other hand it is necessary for humans to be able to communicate. It helps shape our minds. If both sides of a debate only focus on their view nothing will change because they are not trying to fix the problem, they just want to be right.

Cassie Lester

Joan Blades and John Gable discuss filter bubbles with technology and civil discourse in their TED Talk. John and Joan politically and geographically are very different people. Joan is a progressive originally from California, which is mainly a progressive state. John is a conservative originally from Tennessee near the border connecting to Kentucky, both areas in the conservative deep south. John moved to California for a job in Microsoft, and later in Netscape. John discusses that the internet had a simplistic vision from the start: to have people be able to make wiser decisions and appreciate different people. However, working in this field John realizes that the internet did quite the opposite; John gave a speech about how the internet might be training us to discriminate in new ways. Through filter bubbles technology blocks out people that disagree with you and ideas that you disagree with. With filter bubbles two things happen; one, beliefs can become extreme beliefs and two, people become less tolerant of others’ views. After meeting Joan, John learned that the problem is not just information filter bubbles, but it is also a societal and relationship bubble issue. They suggested a solve to these issues by including diversity of ideas and people from our own bubbles in our conversations.
Overall, I agree with Joan and Johns main argument that in todays generation we filter out people and ideas that we don’t agree with. I also agree that we, as a society, should work more on finding common ground in order better communicate and make progress. I think that, most of the time, people do not intentionally ignore differing views. When talking with people, we talk longer with people who we agree with and can have a civil conversation with. Although this is not always the case for every instance, it is true for most. I know for me I do want to talk to someone that is always contradicting me; it is not enjoyable to have someone constantly say you are wrong, and your views are flawed. However, people should include diversity and the others’ views while meeting people or engaging in conversation.

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