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By Rev. Marty Levesque

In the age of digital interconnectedness, one might assume that social media would be a unifying force. However, reality tells a different story, as the rise of siloed social media contributes to greater societal division.

Silo social media refers to the tendency of individuals to engage with platforms that reinforce their existing beliefs and interests, creating isolated echo chambers. This phenomenon has been fueled by algorithms designed to show users content based on their preferences, leading to a personalized online experience that often excludes diverse perspectives.

One of the most concerning aspects of silo social media is its role in deepening ideological divides, whether political or religious.

Users are frequently exposed to content that aligns with their pre-existing views, reinforcing biases, and creating an environment where alternative perspectives are marginalized.

This polarization not only fosters animosity between different groups but also impedes constructive dialogue, mutual understanding, and the fostering of the kingdom of God.

Addressing the silo effect requires a multi-faceted approach. Social media platforms need to re-evaluate their algorithms to promote diverse content and facilitate exposure to different perspectives. But users, too, play a crucial role by actively seeking out information that challenges their views and engaging in open-minded discussions to learn from one another.

Furthermore, fostering digital literacy is essential to equip individuals with the skills needed to critically evaluate information and discern fact from fiction. By encouraging a more thoughtful and discerning online community, we can begin to break down the silos that contribute to division and work towards a more understanding society.

Perhaps it is time for the church to play a more active role to help mitigate the silo social media effect as part of Sunday School and Youth curriculum design at the local level, diocesan level and national church.

 Rev. Marty Levesque is the rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo. He served as diocesan social media officer.

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