The daydream. A short-term detachment from one’s immediate surroundings, during which a person’s contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy. Most of us are flippant when it comes to these dreams of day. But in the 1950s, many educational psychologists feared that children who daydream would be sucked into a world of ‘neurosis and psychosis’. Freud went further, but he was a complete nutcase who never got anything right, so screw him. But the 1950s was a long time ago. Surely modern day research has advanced greatly from the decade that saw psychiatrist Oscar Janiger give LSD to artists in the name of ‘research’. Got a feeling that loon would’ve liked Freud…
Today, we know that daydreams are usually about ordinary, everyday events. Eric Klinger found that 75% of people in ‘boring jobs’ have vivid daydreams to ‘ease the boredom’. The jobs he included were truck drivers and lifeguards. Oh great. People driving massive vehicles and people who are meant to be there to save your life, spend much of their time daydreaming. Well, gee, that’s comforting. Klinger went further, too. He found that five percent of these worker’s daydreams were sexual or violent. So, that truck driver and lifeguard. Bored, violent and horny. That’s not the best combination in the world, is it? Good name for a band, though.
Daydreaming, like its nighttime counterpart, helps to strengthen your learning. Probably why so many students love sleeping. That or they got incredibly drunk. Daydreaming also enables one to solve problems and gain higher success because the areas of the brain that are most active during a daydream are those associated with complex problem solving. So should we be so flippant about daydreaming?
We don’t really know much about it, despite all the research. Many experience daydreams as highly vivid and deeply involving. Others experience much milder imagery, thoughts of the future or stories of past memories. Some are just, and I quote, ‘spacing out’. We all daydream. But, strangely, daydream less the older we get. And like with those times when you’re on public transport and you drift off and wake up twenty stops after the one you should’ve gotten off at, we really don’t remember them.
I remember many boring days at school, often in the lazy heat of the summer afternoon. I’ve never really thought of myself as drifting into the realms of the daydream, though. Mainly because I was actually really asleep instead of ‘partially lucid’. Science tells us that daydreaming is great for us. Maybe that’s why I didn’t do so well in school. Instead of daydreaming, I fell into the land of nod. But then again, in the 1950s, scientists were giving LSD to people, so who’s to say in another 64 years time, it’ll turn out that daydreaming is something completely different? By then, we may have discovered that we are all alive in a computer world and the daydream is the ‘real world’ seeping through. And with thoughts like that, maybe they’re still giving us drugs. Or maybe still, these drugs are all a cover up to hide some terrifying truth…
Do you daydream, readers?
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