Have certain stressors in life caused you to escape from reality to forget about your problems or fantasize about a better life? This is known as escapism and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as a “habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine” (“Escapism”, 1997).
Escapism has become more popular throughout the years due to the introduction of social media. Previous forms of escapism have been books, video games, and movies; however, today escapism is more popular and most people don’t even realize that constantly scrolling through your newsfeed or timeline is a form of escapism.
In the past, escapism wasn’t as stigmatized as it is today and there were more positive forms of escapism. Just reading a book to take your mind off of that million-dollar account was enough to escape temporarily, get back to the real world, and not damage your self-esteem in the process. Along with the introduction of virtual escapism, came the negative impact of escapism as well, and Adrian Higgins of the Washington Post stated, “Technology has drawn us into our interconnected webs, in the office, on the street, on the park bench, to the point that we exist virtually everywhere except in the physical world” (Higgins, 2009).
Everyone wants to stay connected to one another so they are constantly on social media, escaping; however that form of escapism can lead to low-self esteem, envy, and/or depression from feeling that your life isn’t good enough. These are all subtle feelings that most people don’t notice because escapism through social media is addicting and we tend to neglect our true inner feelings because we are too busy escaping.
1. Higgins, A. (2009, December 15). We can’t see the forest for the T-Mobiles; As we consume Apples and BlackBerrys, natural world beats a sensory retreat. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-21047732.html?
2. Webster, I. (1997). The Merriam-Webster dictionary (p. 259). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster.
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