Reality Shifting

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Reality shifting is an activity and social media trend based upon the belief that people are able to switch the reality that they are in (shift), often to fictional universes, through various methods performed either while awake or asleep. Reality shifting first rose to prominence in 2020 during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

While TikTok is associated with reality shifting, the trend has also appeared on sites such as Reddit, Amino, Wattpad, AO3 and YouTube. There is a large amount of fandom involvement in reality shifting, and reality shifting is often associated with the Harry Potter fandom. While the Harry Potter fandom contributed to the popularity of the trend, belief in reality shifting has also occurred in other fandoms.

Skeptics have drawn comparisons between descriptions of reality shifting to documented mental phenomena. This includes lucid dreaming, maladaptive daydreaming, self-hypnosis, meditation, and daydreaming.[2][3] Critics also argue that reality shifting is a form of pseudoscience and an example of a trend of younger TikTok users buying into and spreading misleading and dangerous misinformation.

Terminology

  • DR: Desired reality.
  • CR: Current reality.
  • Affirmation: Positive statements designed to help prepare the practicer for shifting.
  • Script: A written list detailing where the shifter wants to go and their desired experience This can include details such as appearance, name, skills, rules, etc. relationships.
  • Shifttok: The given name for the reality shifter community on TikTok.

Involvement with fandom

Notable events

Some of the individuals who practice shifting firmly believe that the realities they shift to are 100% real and exist outside of the shifter's control, while others think such realities only exist in their heads. The tendency of some to believe - and insist - that they are shifting (or "quantum jumping") to alternate universes has provoked concern and criticism from many people, with fears that it can exacerbate mental health issues.[4]

The "murder" of Draco Malfoy

A screencap of the Draco Malfoy "murder" video including some comments from users who believe the incident was real.

One particularly infamous shifting incident, which made many fans who were previously not aware of the concept of shifting suddendly faced with the phenomeno. It involved a TikTok user confessing that they felt they could no longer reality shift to Hogwarts due to having caused the death of Draco Malfoy.[5] Some users in the comments section took this seriously to the point of accusing the poster of murder, and the original poster may have been doxxed as a result.[6]

The video may have inspired at least one copycat (@catnoirspouse), as the original poster claimed a video was posted with identical sound in which the copycat creator claimed to have choked Cat Noir to death.[7]

'Fake' shifters

There are also a small number of tiktok creators who acquired a sizable following thanks to publishing content about reality shifting and their experiences with it. Later some admitted to having faked the whole thing, while others described experiences that are not "symptoms" of reality shifting leading their followers to believe they were faking as well.[8]

Thus an uproar was generated acusing this people of giving the shifting comunity a bad name and reputation.[9]

The most known creator to do this was @shiftingwithmell, a prominent shifter in the Harry Potter community (also involved in another Draco Malfoy scandal), who has since deleted the account. [10]

The Odd1sout video

The creator published an explanatory video of the subject and posed his concerns about reality shifting. He also posed many interesting questions about the practice. For example:

  • If your consciousness shifts realities and that reality is 100% real, what happens to the conscious of the person whose body you just took over?
  • What happens if someone from another reality decides to shift here? Is that even posible?

He also made the claim that reality shifting was just dreaming. Also expressing his concern about the number of minors making videos about the subject as well as ascribing to this set of unfounded beliefs. [11]

This resulted in two things. More people entered the community wanting to try, and people who didn't believe in reality shifting were made aware of it and started leaving unsavory coments in various creators videos. Creating a turbulent time for the community.

Scripts examples and experiences

Harry Potter

Miraculous Ladybug

Marvel Cinematic Universe

Boku No Hero Academia

Shifting Methods

(These are compilations of different methods the author has come across in amino, most made by different authors. They also belong to many different fandoms. The author has compiled 552 different methods to date 20 April 2022)

Further Reading

The Reality Shifting Handbook by orphan_account Published on June 16,2021 on AO3.

External Links

References

  1. ^ https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-021-02439-3
  2. ^ thenightling. Things you need to ask about “Shifting realities.”, Tumblr, 24 April 2021. Accessed 18 April 2022.
  3. ^ Estrada, J. What Is TikTok’s “Reality Shifting” Trend?, Cosmopolitan, 19 January 2022. Accessed 18 April 2022.
  4. ^ Colombo, C. 'Reality shifting' where users say they're transported to another life has exploded on TikTok, but former shifters say it harmed their mental health, Insider, 16 January 2022. 18 April 2022.
  5. ^ qrlviey. guys help, TikTok, 6 January 2021. Accessed 18 April 2022.
  6. ^ Tweet by @literal_cyanide. 15 April 2021. Accessed April 18, 2022).
  7. ^ Reply to by qrlviey with footage from catnoirspouse, TikTok. 8 January 2021. Accessed 18 April 2022.
  8. ^ oboroshirakumoo dueting elementiaa. Stay safe, TikTok, 18 August 2021. Accessed 18 April 2022.
  9. ^ armoured.alexthymia. You should be ashamed, TikTok, 9 June 2021. Accessed 18 April 2022.
  10. ^ Admitting everything by .shiftingwithmell (repost of the video by the original creator) , TikTok. 10 June 2021. Accessed 18 April 2022.
  11. ^ TheOdd1sOut. My thoughts on reality shifting, Youtube, 10 April 2021. Accessed 18 April 2022.