Two students were rushed to their university’s hospital last week following a month of trying to rid themselves of the other’s ideological bubble.
Jon and Clara, two students at Oregon State University, are currently being treated for what doctors are calling “External Ideological Contact” after both students got a little too comfortable in a political discussion and began to understand one another’s perspective. School staff has warned other students on campus to mind their ideological bubbles and be cautious of who they may brush up against.
This isn’t the first time this month that universities have reported students coming down with external ideological contact, sometimes also called external ideological awareness. Thirty-seven other students across six universities have also reported cases just this week.
“I just can’t believe it happened to Clara,” Jennifer, a friend of Clara’s and holder of a similar ideological bubble, said. “She’s just not the type to go looking for trouble like that. We know better than to fraternize with people with the *wrong* views.”
With symptoms ranging from mild to severe, doctors are warning of what could be a highly contagious epidemic of ideological bubble brushing over the coming months.
Here are a few ways to protect yourself if you’ve recently come into contact with someone outside your ideological bubble:
- Don’t engage
- Don’t listen or ask questions
- Keep your personal opinions and experiences to yourself
- Most of all, don’t be curious about people who are different from you
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of EIC, doctors recommend reading your preferred partisan news channel to reduce the exposure. If symptoms continue, scroll your social media echo chamber until you sufficiently hate people with different ideas.