How Fiction Affects Actuality

Most of us while growing up, Harry Potter was an icon we looked up to in matters magic and fiction. I once was caught at home staring in deep thought at a broom similar to the one Harry Potter used to fly with about his school. I envisioned a group of friends of mine together with me playing quidditch in like manner as in the movie. More to that, I believed in time travelling with my all. Those very things do not make sense today.

Fictions tap into our emotions and so the effects they can have could cause the deepest of impacts on us as a people and as a society. Fictions keep us speculating about the alien world, extrasensory perception, interstellar travel and other God knows what technologies. They often portray the dangerous and sinister knowledge especially for science fictions. There are some things in verity, man is not supposed to know.

Consider the following aspects of fiction with me:

Watching Science Fiction Can Blur the Understanding of Real Science

The constant persistent watching and reading of science fiction ultimately distorts the brain. For students, it becomes an uphill task to discern scientific facts from fiction.

A group of 40 earth science students were examined orally for their comprehension of some critical facts after a period of four weeks. After the month just before the test, the students were asked to watch the movie, The Core. Surprisingly, their explanations upon providing answers were primarily based on the movie and nothing close to their earth science textbooks. They had such great confidence presenting their misunderstandings. (Journal of Science Education and Technology, April 2006, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 179-191).

Majority of the science fictions are usually so authoritative that they would erase science facts one may have while watching. Again, the concepts and images portrayed therein are so believable and realistic despite being wrong.

While we may deem them entertaining, the minds are provoked to unheard of fantasies and the line between reality and imagination is blurred. So is the line between science facts and science fiction.

Fiction Makes the ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’ a Reality

There are instances where we just accept untrue aspects of life just for our amusement. We develop temporary belief on some evidently facts that lack sensation. Take the instance of Star Wars. The characters in this American epic series are born connected to the spiritual and mystical element of the Star Wars galaxy known as ‘The Force’. This enables them achieve various ‘supernatural’ feats such as telekinesis (moving objects with the power of the mind), clairvoyance (power to see the future), precognition and mind control.

You would agree that we were all born connected to our mothers’ umbilical cords which were cut almost immediately and not some force of the vast galaxies. For pleasure, we suspend the disbelief we have on crucial aspects like biologic functions of the brain.

Readers of frivolous, exciting tales become unfitted for the duties of practical life. With the cultivation of an appetite for sensational stories, the mental taste is perverted, and the mind is not satisfied unless fed upon this unwholesome food.

Continuous suspension of disbelief temporarily will eventually lead to permanent suspension of aspects of reality. Neuropsychologists couldn’t agree more.

Fictions Impact Aggressive Behavior

Fans of the TV series Spartacus. Much as the violence, nudity and sex were accurate in the Ancient Roman life, much exaggerations are just exhibited in the series that are apparently not real. The bloodshed and mayhem portrayed is one that is unbearable by the light hearted. The hard cores would then cherish the scenes of violence. The brain learns and soon, if not already, will send signals to the body to begin practicing violence upon the slightest provocations.

Finally, once the mind is allowed to be absorbed into fiction, the imagination becomes diseased, science and precious knowledge is unlearned. Sentimentalism takes possession of the mind, there is vague unrest which is constantly unbalancing the mind. Thousands today are in the insane asylum. Theirs is building castles in every facet of life.

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” Albert Camus.


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