TED Talk Videos
I believe the best TED Talks are the ones that make you uncomfortable and restless. These TED Talks make us aware that we are being ignorant over something instead of mindful. The talk "The danger of a single story" pointed out my mistake of believing in a single story. Even if we hear different versions of the same story, it is still a single story, just repeated. This TED Talk caused me to think how many times and how often do I believe in the single story. As we are in a pandemic, the news is always on my family's TV. However, the news is always from the same channel. While I was aware that certain news channels lean towards a political party and we did not get both sides of an argument, I never thought of it as only listening to a single story. There is a depth in everyone that we unfortunately won't see. However, if we try to recognize the many stories of those that we have the opportunity to meet, then we can at least see the depth in them. In the end, we will always realize, that no matter who you meet, we are more alike than different.
Above is a screenshot from the TED Talk "The danger of a single story" which caused me restlessness and motivated me to change.
I highly respect the talk by Dr. Barnes. She spoke about why we spend so much time with fictional characters and what effect does it have on us. As she pointed out, as humans, we spend a vast amount of time with fictional characters. She defined fictional characters as both the made-up characters from the books we read and shows/movies that we watch, as well as celebrities that we know but who do not know us. Dr. Barnes spoke about the reasoning she found for why we spend so much time with fictional people. She found that we almost get the same positive effects to our cognitive work after we interact with a "real" friend and a "imaginary" friend. However, I want to propose another reason. Sometimes people just needs an outlet or a way to escape. When we pour out our energy towards a celebrity, maybe it is because we do not have someone like them in our own lives. For example, I feel like YouTube has greatly grown within the past decade. These YouTubers are like "celebrities" but are sometime closer to our age, more relatable, and lives an, arguably, normal life that is very similar to our own. More so, anyone can be a YouTuber - you do not have to be born into a certain family or wealth. Therefore, YouTubers seem to be just like us. For some, it is watching these vlogs that some feel like they have a family or place where they get positive encouragement if that is not something they get in their reality. This is just another reason I wish was explored to explain why we spend so much time with fictional characters.
Dr. Barnes presenting her research on "Imaginary friends and real-world consequences: parasocial relationships."