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Old 2008-11-20, 13:45   Link #1
Guernsey
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Escapism

I had searched for threads that talked about Escapism but not specifically when I start this thread. I myself am something of an escapist where I often find myself in my own world for a little while than I do my own family. Although I do talk to my brother or cousin, it is usually about something they are not probably interested in and very few times I talk seriously with any of them. I wonder if this qualifies as escapism and also if 'Escapism' is just running away from 'Reality' or not dealing with everyday life in 'Reality', what is 'Reality' and what is just plain Escapism?
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Old 2008-11-20, 15:10   Link #2
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A certain amount of escapism qualifies as "creative play" -- which is absolutely critical to mental development and maintenance. Daydreaming, roleplaying in an MMO, writing your own fanfiction -- are all creative play. The problem arises when such creative play starts interfering with your functional needs as a human being (paying the bills, doing housechores, etc) and your societal obligations (interacting with the people you have bonds with).

Its refreshing to immerse in an anime/manga/mmo/hobbies at intervals... but if it causes you to lose your job, forget to pay bills, lose contact with the people around you, then it ceases to have productive benefit.

OTOH, people who claim to be "practical" and call all escapism a "waste of time" are deficient and unhealthy as well

Like one of the ancient Greeks said, "moderation in all things"
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Old 2008-11-20, 17:43   Link #3
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Ah... Well... self created reality are nice but there's nothing better than the real world even if we suffer such harshness from it.
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Old 2008-11-20, 18:14   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
A certain amount of escapism qualifies as "creative play" -- which is absolutely critical to mental development and maintenance. Daydreaming, roleplaying in an MMO, writing your own fanfiction -- are all creative play. The problem arises when such creative play starts interfering with your functional needs as a human being (paying the bills, doing housechores, etc) and your societal obligations (interacting with the people you have bonds with).

Its refreshing to immerse in an anime/manga/mmo/hobbies at intervals... but if it causes you to lose your job, forget to pay bills, lose contact with the people around you, then it ceases to have productive benefit.

OTOH, people who claim to be "practical" and call all escapism a "waste of time" are deficient and unhealthy as well

Like one of the ancient Greeks said, "moderation in all things"
/thread

I wanted to say basically the same thing. I think fantasy, fantasizing, and escapism is real nice and pleasant, but it is important to stay rooted in the real world, take care of your responsibilities, and bond with/take care of others in life. I like to indulge in fantasies and escapism, but like Vexx said with everything being good in moderation; indulge responsibly.

And I agree, the "pratical" people who don't engage in any escapism are deficient in a sense. The average person can engage in fantasies and escapism, and the only people who shouldn't are those who have to always keep focus on the real world. For example, a military general on duty during a time of war, or one who is homeless and is trying to find a way to feed his children from day to day, then it is totally understandable and legit in cases such as those. Some people can't really afford such a pleasantry as escapism. But as I said, the average person is able to enjoy fantasies and escapism just fine, and I think it is just fine so long as they stay rooted in the real world and keep their priorities straight, as well. : )

And I agree with Aoie Emesai. Despite the suffering in life and the ugliness that can be found in the real world, there is much good to the real world. Really, life is beautiful, and I care not how cliched that sounds. And like Vexx said, it is important to maintain and strengthen bonds with people; your loved ones and people in general.
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Old 2008-11-20, 18:31   Link #5
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Of course, I keep my priorities in order...I don't retreat from society, I don't fail my courses, I keep everything in order...

But I am an escapist, no doubt.

But I don't play video games obsessively, or engross myself in fantasy worlds.....my brand of escapism always seems to be seeking the potential beauty of life...which is what is found in my writing, the music I play, the anime I watch, books I read, etc...

I think that intense idealism, optimism...is the brand of "escapism" that I adhere to, idealism that is possible in the real world....yet is "unrealistic" for this sorry planet that we live on...

Sounds a bit strange, I suppose...
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Old 2008-11-20, 19:38   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
OTOH, people who claim to be "practical" and call all escapism a "waste of time" are deficient and unhealthy as well
Those guys are just no fun.

I feel escapism itself isn't a bad thing, it's when you get addicted or obssessed with that escape that it becomes problematic. You really do have to reign in on hobbies and interests when more important priorities present themselves. Life is a balancing act.
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Old 2008-11-21, 03:37   Link #7
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I've been an escapist for a long time, I'm still one.

But I've already settled in a state where I believe I'm able to mix my escapist reality and practical reality into one. Mainly because I've came to accept both the positive and negative parts of reality.

My escapist mindset is something like do what I want to do, doesn't matter if other people think I shouldn't. But at the same time I make sure what I'm doing does not bother or trouble other people.

My views on life and my positive attitude has made me quite welcomed during my army days, people would consult me when they are unhappy. I have this aura of positiveness that calms them down I think lol
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Old 2008-11-21, 06:05   Link #8
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Oh, this is a good thread.
It seems people have slightly different versions of escapism, will share mine too.

My brand of escapism would be something like thinking of the positive things in life as well. After I've finished all the consultations and there's no more patients at the clinic, I have the habit to sit at a comfortable chair and daydream about everything that I like - which could go on for a few minutes.

One bad aspect of my escapism might be that it sometimes turns into a form of idealism. If I feel that a person has a negative point of view in life, examples would be those people who always say "I'm bored" (I hate this type espescially), people with a big frustration in life like my obese coworker who always whines about her husband leaving her - she has a shift together with me on Sundays >_< (no offense to the fat people here), people who never seem to run out of things to whine about, etc. I tend to avoid talking with those kind of people and will eventually ignore them if the negative attitude persists.

Last edited by Liddo-kun; 2008-11-21 at 09:22.
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Old 2008-11-21, 06:30   Link #9
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I think Liddo-kun is quite right: As with anything else in life, escapism comes in countless varieties.

I myself have always been a daydreamer. Mostly ^^; spacing off when I should be listening in class or working... finding myself rolling a snippet of music or an anime scene or something from a book over in my head. I watch a lot of anime of course, and movies, and I read more than most people in the US do. I find this makes time pass quickly - waiting in lines for example. I'm really quiet content left to my own devices and spend a lot of time doing solo activities. The flip side of that, of course, is that I don't go out and mingle as much as many college students and young adults do, in bars and whatnot. I write a lot better than I speak, and as I'm trying now to launch a professional career I'm finding that my introversion limits my prospects somewhat. ^^

In another case though: There's one person in my group of friends who was always very quiet. He was always a little difficult to engage in conversation, and he never seemed interested in talking about himself. However, when he had a topic he could latch onto - usually anime or video game related, a series he's watching or a new game coming out that he'd read about - those were the times he'd be lively and actually have something to say and even have actual opinions! That's probably an example of a more extreme or harmful form of escapism, or maybe it's a different issue altogether..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Its refreshing to immerse in an anime/manga/mmo/hobbies at intervals... but if it causes you to lose your job, forget to pay bills, lose contact with the people around you, then it ceases to have productive benefit.
It's very interesting and insightful that you put it that way. In the first psychology class I ever took, way back in high school, we were taught that this is the definition of mental illness. Not so much any specific behavior, so much as behaviors that consume you and control the flow of your life.
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Old 2008-11-21, 09:04   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liddo-kun View Post
One bad aspect of my escapism might be that it sometimes turns into a form of idealism. If I feel that a person has a negative point of view in life
My hyper-idealist-escapist tendencies also tend to make judge people too harshly, because I'm always considering people by idealistic standards even though that person rarely exists in real life. So I may make a very good new friend but then I discover one small thing about their personality or actions that I is slightly negative, and then I feel completely unmotivated to associate with them anymore.....yet the kind of "good person" that I envision is probably rare in real life so this is not quite a good thing to do...I suppose the escapism makes my ability to "compromise" worse.
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Old 2008-11-21, 12:28   Link #11
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i guess i consider myself an escapism, i did not know if it was a healthy thing, i thought i was crazy.eveytime i walk i would create vast fantasies in my head, even role playing while i'm walking, i would walk for hours and never get tired. now i feeel that i can not think with out taking a walk,
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Old 2008-11-21, 14:17   Link #12
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Liddo-kun View Post
One bad aspect of my escapism might be that it sometimes turns into a form of idealism. If I feel that a person has a negative point of view in life, examples would be those people who always say "I'm bored" (I hate this type espescially), people with a big frustration in life like my obese coworker who always whines about her husband leaving her - she has a shift together with me on Sundays >_< (no offense to the fat people here), people who never seem to run out of things to whine about, etc. I tend to avoid talking with those kind of people and will eventually ignore them if the negative attitude persists.
You're referring somewhat to what some folks call "toxic personalities". The kind that suck all the happiness out of a room with their negativity.

One should do one's best to cut those sorts out of your life. Life too short to waste on them. Note I don't mean *challenging* personalities but the vampires that sap your wai. My mother happens to be one of those ... over the years, I've constructed a very well-defined few paths that I interact with her on -- and cut short the others.
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Old 2008-11-21, 14:37   Link #13
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Old 2008-11-21, 18:52   Link #14
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
You're referring somewhat to what some folks call "toxic personalities". The kind that suck all the happiness out of a room with their negativity.

One should do one's best to cut those sorts out of your life. Life too short to waste on them. Note I don't mean *challenging* personalities but the vampires that sap your wai.
Ugh, I have one of those with me in class, I try to ignore her though, but whenever I say something to somebody (Doesn't matter who it is)
I ALWAYS get a comment from across the room about how much better she knows about it or how wrong I am.
She lays on the table all day long, only to raise her head and mumble something about her boyfriend cheating on her and then going back to crying and spouting useless and irritating comments to people throughout the classroom.

damn It really gets on my nerves, almost at breaking point over here, I am normally a person who tries to get along with everybody, but when she starts talking smack about me behind my back to my best friend (Who in turn, told me) It's just no more mister nice guy.
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Old 2008-11-21, 19:25   Link #15
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As for my definition of escapism, it's a way for me to stop thinking about my life and to immerse myself in an imaginary place.

As a result of this, I can't just daydream, because my thoughts would irritatingly find their way back to reality and I'd get depressed again, so I get out of this by playing video games, watching anime, reading books and browsing the internet.

Fortunately, I'm very conscious of what's real and what's imaginary so I'm not in danger of falling into an escapism...
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Old 2008-11-21, 20:03   Link #16
Vexx
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Ugh, I have one of those with me in class, I try to ignore her though, but whenever I say something to somebody (Doesn't matter who it is)
I ALWAYS get a comment from across the room about how much better she knows about it or how wrong I am.
She lays on the table all day long, only to raise her head and mumble something about her boyfriend cheating on her and then going back to crying and spouting useless and irritating comments to people throughout the classroom.

damn It really gets on my nerves, almost at breaking point over here, I am normally a person who tries to get along with everybody, but when she starts talking smack about me behind my back to my best friend (Who in turn, told me) It's just no more mister nice guy.
heh, maybe she has a crush on you ....
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Old 2008-11-21, 20:36   Link #17
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Interestingly, I doubt anyone interested in watching anime be a non-escapist. And that would make Japan as one of the most-escapist nations in the world.
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Old 2008-11-21, 20:39   Link #18
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Interestingly, I doubt anyone interested in watching anime be a non-escapist. And that would make Japan as one of the most-escapist nations in the world.

Oh, Japan has to be up there as one of the most "escapist nations." Think about how they run their society. I'm sure everyone wants to escape off into some other world.

Well, maybe the most northern countries are. When you are locked up in the dark for 6 months a year, you got nothing better to do than fantasize about other worlds, and other things.
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Old 2008-11-21, 20:39   Link #19
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Interestingly, I doubt anyone interested in watching anime be a non-escapist. And that would make Japan as one of the most-escapist nations in the world.
But by the same logic, anyone interested in watching TV could be described an escapist(which a case could be made for) hence most people in developed nations are escapist...
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Old 2008-11-21, 20:43   Link #20
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But by the same logic, anyone interested in watching TV could be described an escapist(which a case could be made for) hence most people in developed nations are escapist...
Doesn't that depend on what you watch on TV? And, yet, anime is a part of watching TV.

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Well, maybe the most northern countries are. When you are locked up in the dark for 6 months a year, you got nothing better to do than fantasize about other worlds, and other things.
That reminds me the birth of pirate bay. Must be a repeat of their history. But, in that case, it is more like turning virtuality into reality, not the other way around.
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