Escapism is a very interesting and fairly common topic. And as before, and in the modern world. People cannot withstand the burden of reality, constant problems that need to be solved, and therefore they strive to get out of this world into dreams as much as possible. Someone chooses more useful ways to escape, and “escape” is about escape, for example, meditation breathing practices, while someone plays online role-playing games, completely forgetting about real life.
Escapism can be almost anything, even sporting beyond measure. If at the same time you try to interact with the outside world to a minimum, then this can be called precisely escapism.
Let's think today about the pros and cons of escapism and another common philosophy today - downshifting.
Why do people running from reality?
Sometimes, to answer this question, it is enough just to look around. Few people in our world really feel happy, do they?
Consider the types of escapism and the forms in which it usually manifests itself in people.
In general, escapism is a kind of reaction to problems, because a person cannot constantly live under pressure, and he tries to solve his problems in any way, but it is easiest to do this by ignoring them. In fact, there is no one definition of this term, because escapism has a huge number of manifestations and variations. Some say that escapism is something akin to a disease. But in fact, this cannot be called a disease, and if everything is done confidently, then it can help a person psychologically discharge. But, of course, if you get carried away with some extreme methods, and go headlong into something, then it will be harmful for you and for your life.
Types of escapism and how they manifest themselves
Let's say you decided to get carried away with work because you have problems in the family, the same goes for playing computer games, or an example when you decided to suddenly become a religious person as soon as you had problems. On the one hand, this is a kind of outlet, while you are doing something, that is, thereby compensating for serious problems in life.
The only thing is that this very compensation affects you most often negatively, because it fills your life and you cannot adequately respond to everything, because your brain is infected with one idea, which is like a virus spreads in thoughts and occupies almost the entire space of your consciousness. But again, this is an extreme and active degree of escapism.
If we talk about passive activity, then here escapism can be expressed in uncontrolled reading of books, regular drinking or movie addiction. Meditation also applies to passive escapism. Therefore, excessive enthusiasm for any kind of activity is harmful, and you must understand this.
There is escapism, which is a physical escape from reality, that is, when it is too hard for you to cope with the problems and challenges of modern life in a big city, and you run away from difficulties to the village, on constant camping trips with a tent, or just you move to another country.
This is where downshifting comes into play. This is a kind of escapism, when a person quits his job and even housing, and goes in search of some kind of adventure or moves to another country to start life from scratch.
Also, a variation of escapism can be an ostentatious acceptance of all the problems of society, but instead of trying to solve something, the escapist comes home and stumbles into his fantasy world. As mentioned above, this can be anything from reading, which lasts from night to morning, to computer games, which take up most of a person's time.
Escapism has an extreme degree and many psychologists refer to this as a deliberate departure from life.
In general, it is very difficult for a person to exist in the modern world, which every day creates difficulties for him, without any fantasies. They really make life easier and help us to live it not in such a strong stress, as if we had never dreamed of anything. The fact is, if you think about how insignificant you are in this world, which in fact is a reality, then it is quite difficult to deal with this stress, and even more so, to live in it permanently. Therefore, people try to somehow show that they mean something in this world, in which their creativity is manifested.
Take, for example, the Harry Potter universe, which was created for us by the escapist JK Rowling, in which children have unique abilities and there is even a special Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in which wizards teach their wards, and everyone resists some kind of then an unrealistic threat in the form of the main villain. This is certainly interesting, and any person wants to be more significant, but real life very rarely provides us with such opportunities, and therefore we run away from this aggressive world in fantasy.
Now specialists in the field of psychology distinguish productive escapism and, of course, its opposite is unproductive.
The first option they refer to our fantasies about some other reality, which in turn helps to cope with real problems. The second type includes an attempt to isolate oneself from society and avoid absolutely any negativity.
If a person can find a middle ground between these two types of escapism, then he can live a happier and more productive life, reflect on his behavior. If you are a person to whom escapism is alien, then with a high probability you are very down to earth and hardly creative, but at the same time, most likely, you are engaged in some kind of scientific activity or, in general, a very sensible person. No, this does not mean at all that escapists are stupid or very weak, it just means that it is very difficult for people who go into fantasy to stop somewhere in the middle so that their thoughts are not filled with fictitious ideas about reality, which will greatly harm quality of life.
In general, escaping from reality is not always bad, and in principle it is a variant of the norm, the most important thing is that people can draw boundaries and not live permanently in the illusory world that they created in their fantasies.
In fact, there are a lot of things on earth that sometimes you want to escape from. At least it's world news. When you see that many people suffer from hunger, poverty and injustice, then it becomes almost impossible to look at it at some point. And if you run away into some kind of fairy tale, then of course it will be easier, and there is no need to argue how harmful it is, because why constantly cheat yourself by reading various news if you cannot help all these people? So very rarely such an escape is something bad and shameful, most often it is a consolation that a person finds for himself, and it really helps him.
If we analyze the types of escape from reality a little more in detail, then while we analyze them, there will be thousands more ways to replace the real world with something of our own. For example, VR technologies that have recently become popular are flooding the world (by the way, examples of this can be seen in the Black Mirror series) and people are completely uninterested in living in reality.
The most important thing is that you have money, and then you can immerse yourself in virtual reality and practically not emerge from it. But what about all the other people who do not have so much livelihood. How do they usually run from reality?
1. Computer games
Of course, it can be very interesting, and if we take such games as Skyrim or BioShock, Fallout and Half life as an example, then you can even dive there for many, many days, or even months. You become the main character, live his life, complete various quests and fully get used to the role. You can really live in these games, and when you come home from school or work, stick to them for hours and days. Also, if you don't like long games, you can find something shorter for yourself, like puzzles or rpg games. Some people are used to playing Counter-Strike or tanks, and this seriously affects their lives, alas, not always in a positive way. By the way, now with the advent of online games, people have moved a little away from the habit that they are in isolation during the game.
Now they can communicate with people directly in the process of immersion in virtual reality. This is not bad, and it also helps a lot in quarantine, when you can’t go out into the street or into a cafe.
2. Educational process
The fact is that not all people like to go into games and into something useless in terms of career and earthly things. Therefore, they choose to study, namely, after the first education they go to the second and third. This, on the one hand, is commendable, but on the other hand, not so much, because in this way you remain an eternal student in life who is afraid to take responsibility, and also does not want to enter adulthood and create relationships.
Often these perpetual students live with their parents until old age and run off to school because they are unable to accept the hardships of adulthood. They justify themselves by saying that they have a reason not to enter the mature chapter of their lives and to wait. For them, the university is something like a fortress in which they hide in order not to go outside and not solve any problems. Now, of course, there is such an option that a person can simply enroll in some courses where he will learn new things, so it will be much easier to get additional education and live an adult life at the same time.
something like theatrical performances, and even reproduce scenes from films and games. Just look at least at Tolkien fans who get together and very cool and beautifully reproduce various scenes from the famous film. During these games, people, despite the fact that they are in our real world, in their head they are in a fictional universe. Over time, these games have moved to the Internet, and now a lot of interesting cosplayers can be found on its open spaces. By the way, it's not that easy, you can look at people who are serious about it, it takes certain skills, at least the ability to do amazing makeup to transform into another character.
4. Series and movies
Most likely, you even have such an addiction, because 80% of people have it. Everyone can recognize themselves in a person who sits in front of a laptop or TV screen with some delicious food and watches one episode after another. It’s really impossible to break away from good TV shows, and now a lot of online services offer subscriptions, and you immerse yourself in the world of TV shows and movies that are provided for you in good quality and a huge variety.
If you seriously get hooked on some series, then most likely you will even associate yourself with one of the heroes of this series, you will want to imitate him. In general, such a hobby does not really harm a person, or even helps at all, because a person after work, being irritated and tired, watches his favorite show or series, and forgets about his accumulated stress, is distracted and thus rests.
In addition, many programs, series and films carry something interesting, a good message, and you will have the opportunity to think about some serious things that the authors raise in the series or film.
The desire to constantly travel somewhere is the most common form of escapism, and of course, it is not as harmful as the passion for computer games, which often develops into addiction. When you travel in search of your spiritual path, just want to explore the nature of your country, or get to know a foreign culture, then this can be called a useful escapism that allows us to learn a lot of new things and so we can become spiritually richer. It has a good effect on the psyche and mood. In addition, when you go to other countries, you learn more, get acquainted with another culture, and this is very useful for your development and self-knowledge.
6. Working with gestalts
You may know that gestalt is something that is difficult to describe, but in fact, it is such a need that a person needs to be closed in order to live more productively. This is of course the most simplified interpretation of this term, but it more or less conveys the essence. We can close most of the gestalts quite simply, but the fact is that if we have unclosed gestalts, most often this concerns childhood, various grievances and other serious things, because they can seriously harm us in the process of life. That is, for example, if we constantly step on the same rake, then this may be due to an unclosed gestalt. And it really has a very serious effect on our condition. Therefore, we want to escape from real life. It is better to deal with such problems with the help of a psychiatrist or at least a psychologist. In serious cases, drug therapy is prescribed, and if it is possible to solve it easier, then you will have a cycle of sessions and you will be able to get rid of your problem.
7. Downshifting again
It is possible to escape from reality by traveling, but the fact is that when our journey ends, we are left again in the old environment and alone with ourselves, and this can exacerbate old problems. Therefore, many people are fond of downshifting, this is an option that is considered more extreme than traveling, that is, you are leaving somewhere for some indefinite period.
Most often this is a place that is very uncomfortable, but can be close to nature, usually it is some kind of village without conditions, or an island. And most often only two groups of people become downshifters: the first is those who have a lot of money and who can afford to work on the islands, and the second group is those people who do not succeed in life, who live badly and poorly and can't handle the load.
Such people most often go to poor villages and get distracted from themselves. Sometimes it can help, but not always. If this really helps you, then upon your return you will begin to treat the world and people differently. You can really start life anew and make it more fruitful and interesting.
We usually see examples of escapism in movies and TV shows. We can also find them in books. A lot of people begin to practice this view of life after some serious injuries and tragedies. We see it in almost every movie and series.
Now, many people may recall, for example, the TV series "The Swamp", which is an illustration of the escapism of young people who choose a place of escape in the form of a remote village. Of course, incredibly strange things are happening in this village, but at the same time, people have the opportunity to learn something new about themselves, overcome their monsters in their minds and become someone better than they are.
Cons of escapism
Of course, with some pluses, escapism, like any other view of life, has minuses, which are many. If you keep running, then who will fight the problems of real life?
If you want to play some interesting game, that's one thing, but if the game is not one, and your life is completely changed because you can't fight the difficulties and prefer to ignore them - then that's another matter.
Also, the disadvantages of escapism is that people do not consider what will happen to them when they run away from reality. Suppose a person loves to travel, then if he does not provide for all the moments of his adventures, then he runs the risk of running into a huge amount of trouble. At a minimum, you need to take care of security.
Also, if you are an escapist, then your problem is most likely in your head. And your escape from the problem is not the solution. For example, if you have some kind of fear, then you need to fight it, it is even better to use a specialist for this, that is, qualified help, otherwise you will be completely out of touch with reality and will never solve your problems.
Trying to answer the question is it good or bad, we can say with accuracy that escapism is a working way to distract a person, but without a golden mean nothing will work. If you live in the modern world, then you definitely have a lot of fears and problems. And most likely, you prefer to run from them anywhere. But if you always run, you run the risk of running into such troubles that escapism will not only not solve, it will itself be the cause of them. And besides, it is impossible to run forever. You simply do not have enough strength and money for such escapes.
Of course, you can live in a remote village all your life, but is your priceless life worth it to feel nothing but need and see the same picture that does not change to throughout your life?
In general, the decision on whether to become an escapist or not is up to you alone, but be sure to take into account everything that can hinder you along the way, and everything that escapism can give you. This direction, as you can see, has both a lot of minuses and pluses, and you can’t leave it unattended. It can be concluded that every person is an escapist to one degree or another.
If you understand that such a departure from reality makes you better, spiritually richer and even smarter in some way, then continue to do what you are doing. If you managed to find a middle ground, then there is nothing better than to continue to stick to it.
Also, if you have any problems in life, and you realize that you start to simply run away from them, ignoring the difficulties, then try to catch yourself on this and try to take some actions that will help resolve situation and even bring you back to reality so that you can continue to dose escapism and steadfastly endure all the trials that fate has prepared for you.