A 10-Minute Practice to Help Curb the Thrill of Gossiping

The stories we tell about others may or may not be true, and telling them often involves a subtle breach of integrity.

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We live in a political moment where we don’t just disagree about matters of policy—we disagree about reality. To some degree, this has always been the case.

Writing in 1922, the American philosopher Walter Lippmann, described the modern human condition as one of living in “pseudo-environments”—mental worlds that define our values, beliefs, and opinions. As a result, he observed that citizens “live in the same world, but they think and feel in different ones.”

Nearly 100 years later, we are experiencing this kind of polarization like never before. 24-hour cable news, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and the fracturing of media have made it so that we can each filter our news, entertainment, and social interactions to reinforce our existing beliefs and shield ourselves from oppositional views—not to mention the fake news out there deliberately trying to separate us.

This catchphrase has come to define the modern moment—“fake news.” Anything that doesn’t fit with our reality is now seen as unreal, make-believe, and at the same time, some of the news in our feeds is actually made up. These are crazy days.

There is a serious conversation to be had around how to restructure…