managing a world within the world



“Don’t lose touch of reality, it might drive you insane if you’re locked in your own world of possibilities for too long.”



This is part business and part simply reflecting upon what is happening in the world with regard to how we think about things and how our thoughts are influenced.

First. It is absurd to suggest the world doesn’t impact how we think (our world). Day in and day out we get barraged with stories, messages, experiences all trying to inform us or manipulate us. We may prefer to think our world is totally self-determined, but reality suggests the world is constantly manipulating our preferences and perceptions.

Second. The world as it exists within social media is different than the real world. What I mean by that is while we pontificate about our massively interconnected world it is far more likely that if you are part of a 100, 1000 or even 1 million Facebook following, that is more often than not a reflection of the real world. Shit. If you are part of a 5 million blog feed following, that is more often than not a reflection of the real world. Yet. It is your world. Sure. Tidbits of the real world get filtered in and then bounce around this parallel universe in which the facts create new constellations but even then, it is likely the real world cannot see, do not see, those same constellations when they look up at the sky.

In this social world thoughts and untruths and truths echo as equal opportunity informers.

This begets a real world truth and a parallel world truth. Sometimes they can be the same, sometimes just similar and sometimes a parallel truth which, well, as parallel suggests … travels a lane that never intersects with the real world truth.

Some of us who watch all information that bombards us quite carefully gnash our teeth and pound the tables and imagine if we yell loud enough, or calmly tell the truth in maybe a different way <the ‘go-to’ thought by older folk is ‘be visual in a short attention span world’>, that somehow we can communicate the business truth or the Life truth or whatever real truth which will impact the alternate world we are frustrated with.


That is a slightly ignorant and totally egotistical view.

Whether we like it or not an alternate world is a real world in and of itself. It may not actually be a reflection of real truth or overall reality per se, but that alternative world captures the reality of that ‘follower world.’ And that world takes on the same characteristics of any traditional civilization and culture. Ethics, values, norms, dreams, despairs and hopes. Maybe more importantly, they have their own stories <and stories embed culture>.

Some idiots call it a ‘tribe.’

I call it idiotic because it sells the world in which this social following lives short.

Tribe is too small. The social world, and the online communities which is created in these different followings, are like small civilizations which may, or may not, interconnect with other cultural views & values, religious views & values and societal views & values.

Others may attempt to call this ‘countries’ <shit, Facebook is the largest country in the world>. And, in some cases, this may actually be the correct metaphor, but in more cases it is not. Why? Countries coexist. Worlds are … well … worlds apart.

And entering into one of the larger follower social world groupings is absolutely like a world apart. Within the following are individuals who have come together based on a world view in which they do not see anywhere than in this virtual population <which are real people in a made up world>.

What I can promise you is that what each alternate world DOES coalesce around is like minded individual self-interest – views & values & aspirations.  

And it is easy to see how his could happen.

First. It is incredibly easy to feel powerless in the real world. Consequently, in your own alternative world all you feel is power. Power to feel what you believe and do <at least virtually at the moment> what you want to do. And this power is affirmed day in and day out by the rest of the citizens in this world. There is an incredible power found in believing you see something that someone else cannot see.

Second. It is incredibly easy to feel one person can do so little and now, all of a sudden, the individual finds themselves in a world together with individuals who think the way they do, say the words they say and want to do the same things they do. The world exists only in a virtual sense <and they know that> and, yet, they can envision this world being created as a tangible reality.

Third. It is incredibly easy to block out all the harsh noise trying to infringe upon the beautiful sounds echoing in this virtual world.

Look at whatever news or information sharing research you want but the majority of people seek fitness rather than truth. If that is true <which it is> than once you have decided to become part of a social follower world that becomes your main feed of information, truth and reality. And once you have decided to become part of this following it becomes your world and then it becomes a world mainly of likeminded people cocooning thoughts, norms, cultural beliefs, civilization characteristics as well as desires, despairs and hopes – all with a dangerous view that they are open minded and everyone else is not.

All that said.

This is dangerous. Dangerous for the future because it isn’t really polarization, it is people living on different worlds and, yet, residing on the same planet.

And maybe that is where the solution resides – making sense of the same planet we all live on.

99% of people have a reason for why they think the way they think. Maybe if we better understand what people think now about the world, where they would like the world to be and why the world hasn’t got there, we can begin having some pragmatic conversations about, well, the real world.

Let me say, while this is a sweeping generalization, the main way to connect with someone quickly is to do something or say something that appeals to “me.” Me as in self-interest, self-esteem, self-view and self-actualization.  That may sound like a selfish world view, but it really isn’t. It isn’t as cold & harsh as “what’s in it for me?” as the foundation for all attitudes & behaviors, but rather it is a nuanced world view of individual survival within a larger world which can seem quite uncertain. If I think I am seeing the real world crumbling or spinning out of control in its orbit, and I only view people as far right or far left radicals where I am the only one who can think independently, I then see it as a threat to my interests and ultimately my survival <survival can be physiologically or culturally>. Therefore, I am going to want to be part of a world in which an orbit is established, a global climate of prosperity & fairness <however that world may establish it> & a place where it appears my world view survival is insured. To be clear. This may sound like ignorant close-minded thinking or simply stagnant status quo thinking or simply ‘conserving & no progress’, but it is not that clear cut. There is a bit of tug of war between what to conserve and what to gain progress on.

I say that because “what’s in it for me?” sounds too small for what I view as ‘alternate world thinking’ and as we try and view individual self-interest motivations. Self interest always incorporates some progress because all people always want the future to be better than the present which demands some progress.

Which leads me to suggest that maybe instead of calling people stupid or suggesting they are ‘unenlightened’ in some way or ‘they just don’t understand what I am trying to sell them is good for them’ maybe it would be more productive to begin our own thought process by recognizing these are worlds in which they are happy, seemingly productive and hopeful. In their world they are not missing things; they have things.  These are worlds of their own making and quite real to them <and, yes, there are certainly real aspects of real things, thinking and perceptions>. But maybe most importantly, maybe we should recognize that most people do not build worlds based off of fear or anger or despair; they build based on hope & dreams & beliefs.

In the end.

There may be one world in reality but the reality is there are many worlds of perceptions.

Maybe we should all consider this:

  • Perspective seeking (seek perspectives)
  • Perspective taking (take on some of the perspective)
  • Perspective analysis
  • Perspective synthesis

I do not believe perception is reality, reality is reality, but I do believe perceptions can shape one’s view of reality. So, to understand what world someone lives in it demands we seek what they perceive the world to be and not dismiss it but rather take on some of their reality and analyze the truths, even if they only be scraps, behind them.



Authors note:

There are a smallish group of people who no matter how much you attempt to share information or point out their alternative view isn’t really an alternative view is just an alternative reality that are maddeningly impossible to have a dialogue with. You are always the close-minded person, not them.

On a side note. As a noted philosopher said: “the easiest people to manipulate are those who believe in free will because they don’t believe they can be manipulated.” The truth is many of these people cannot see how some of their perceptions and even preferences are being manipulated. If you cannot see the enemy, the enemy is already within.

Written by Bruce