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Recently, a podcast from the Wall Street Journal uncovered a growing discourse between friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone else you can imagine in your social circle. The culprit wasn’t the usual suspects, such as politics, religion, or sports gossip. It seemed less consequential but has become a mainstay in our social interactions – Apple’s Blue Bubble Texts.

Have you ever wondered why some people have blue bubbles, and others have green ones? This seems like an insignificant detail to some, but the color of your text bubbles can cause a divide in your relationships. As the podcast revealed, Android users with green bubbles have been excluded from group chats and even potential dates because they were seen as “out of the loop” or not belonging to the same social circle.

This “blue bubble elitism” has become so prevalent that it has sparked debates on social media and even led to some people switching from Android to iPhone just to fit in with their friends and family. 

The more significant issue is the arguing over trying to change someone’s mind. A simple switch in phone manufacturers has actually led to unhealthy discourse. More importantly, this minor podcast story reveals something bigger about human nature and the polarization of politics in the U.S. 

Indeed, this phenomenon – where people reinforce their beliefs when presented with contradictory evidence – is known as the “backfire effect.” Originating from cognitive psychology, this term explains how individuals, when confronted with information that challenges their worldview or personal beliefs, are more prone to reject that information and strengthen their existing beliefs. 

This can be attributed to various psychological biases, such as confirmation bias, where individuals favor information that confirms their beliefs and ignore or reject information that contradicts them. This human tendency creates a formidable barrier in any dialogue, complicating changing minds and often leading to deeper divisions rather than fostering understanding. It’s a stark reminder of the intricacies and complexities of human psychology.

When we try to change someone’s mind on a larger scale, such as political views or religious beliefs, we will surely not change anyone’s mind. We have to wonder why we are arguing so much.

Is it not enough for us to accept that someone can have a different opinion? Must we constantly make others fit into our ‘bubbles’ (no pun intended)? 

It’s a reminder to be mindful of our biases and open to different perspectives. The color of text bubbles may seem trivial. Still, it serves as a microcosm for more significant societal issues and the need for empathy and understanding in our interactions with others.


The key takeaways here:

  1. You don’t need to try and convince everyone else to switch to your point of view.
  2. Respect people enough to acknowledge that they have their own independent thoughts.

It is really that simple. Arguing is futile and further divides us. It is ok to express your point. However, arguing about it won’t change their mind and will ultimately damage your relationship.


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