Humans are expert escapists. Of course, there's the literal interpretation of this, a la Harry Houdini in the late 1910s, but in the artistic way, humans are even better.
Humans created theater, television, film, opera, novels, musicals, puzzles, video games, all with one purpose: to escape the confines of daily life. And they work very well. Here in the 21st century, you can even put on a virtual reality helmet and truly, fully escape the world in front of you without a second thought.
"What do you do to escape reality?"
Here were some of those answers.
A Zombie Day
"Walking with my kid! We'd jump on our bikes, circle the block, 'find' a care package (backpack with water, snacks, etc) and ride to 'far away places'.."
"Sometimes we'd hit up the elementary school about a mile away and have to fight off the horde of zombies then sneak back on our bikes and ride. I personally, have died many a times, according to him. Lol"
"Eventually, we planned on doing a nighttime ride too but I wanted to set up the bikes for that- reflectors, headlamps, etc but it kept getting shoved off for other bills, or he'd rather do something else instead..."
"Until finally, he completely outgrew hanging out with mom. Sometimes, I'll get a few COD zombie sessions in, and we'll grab chipotle and try to catch up on flash but that's a very rare treat for me now."-freedom_oh
The Quiet Of Night
"I grew up in a household with parents who did not know how to communicate. Lots of yelling and screaming all the time."
"It took me until my late 20s to realize the reason I stay up so late is probably because I conditioned myself to be awake and do the things I liked/needed to do during the peaceful night time."
"Even still, I just love the night so much. It reminds me of peace. It feels so serene. Daytime is just so loud and glaring."-djsedna
The Truth Inside Fiction
"Maladaptive daydreaming. I've had it all of my life and only recently learned it's a thing. I've daydreamed so many possible scenarios that some of them have actually come true, just based on the odds."
"Mostly, it saps my mental strength and makes me feel disassociated from the real world. When I'm anxious it fuels the anxiety because I can see the bad thing happening SO clearly."
"I think it's a mechanism my mind developed to help me cope with a lonely childhood but never disassembled, and it continued to churn away even when it was no longer needed."
"On a positive note, I write fiction and have come to recognize that the daydreaming is my mind's way of telling me there are stories I need to get out."-jew_biscuits
Some of these things evolved from us as methods to cope that we simply never dropped.
Always Working Together
"When my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer I hid in video games, notably World of Warcraft. It was the only thing that kept me sane."
"I mean, I still worked and interacted with people and took her to appointments and spent time with my dad, but when I found myself alone with my thoughts I would log into the game and spend hours there."
"The beautiful thing about video games is that the problems have solutions. You can generally solve every dilemma and even get a reward. That's not the case in real life."-donquixote235
An Escape To Nature
"My day to day reality is tiny apartment in city, with loud neighbours, dogs barking, constant sounds of traffic, looking at computer most of the day, sitting behind desk..."
"So when I need a change I go to nature, to the mountains, where I can find peace, forget about problems and try to enjoy things I enjoyed when I was kid. Really listen to nature, observe shapes, colors and daydream."-purpleowlie
"Late at night, I take my bike and ride to my old elementary school that's now a public park. I sit down on the same bench I've always sat at, and I start recording."
"I've found that talking my problems out, or talking about anything, just helps me to escape. Some of those audio logs I've listened to countless times. I catch myself thinking 'wow, I actually said that.'"
"Maybe someday I'll post them online, or preserve them as a memento to the times I've lived through."
"I can tell you right now, if I never started making those logs I wouldn't be half the person I am now."-D3SYNK
You Can Fly If You Want To
"I am a flight simulator hobbyist, and I escape by delving into the simulator. For over 10 years now, when life gets to me, I make an escape by perfecting my flight sim world, not much unlike a model train enthusiast creates dioramas in their basement."
"Aircraft modelling, sound engineering, environment textures such as the sky, ground, water, and trees, buildings, airport details, there's always something to tweak and work on and improve to make actually using the simulator for simulating just a bit more fun and realistic!"
But my favorite part of it all is AI traffic. Myself and a team of other enthusiasts have worked for years now to "back-date" the AI traffic in flight sim with schedules and aircraft going from the late 90s and early 00s all the way back to the 30s in some instances."
"We can choose what year we want to fly, and with a week or two of work on installing schedules, we can fly in that year in our flight sim. Currently my project has been 1998, and this has been so incredibly rewarding!"
"I live by and love my flight sim. It has always been there for me when life is too much and continues to be there for me when I have free time. Nothing else like it on this planet 🙂"-chris34121
A major fantasy fulfillment is truly one of the only things that can keep a human being satisfied in a pretend environment--so while we escape, we live out our fantasies.`
My Life As A Teenage Robot
"I pretend I am a robot stuck in a human world that needs to blend in by acting overly human. An example, I felt down so I put my phone and stuff away and got some food at a noodle place."
"Since I had no phone to bypass time I instead marveled at the chefs putting together a meal for me and made sure they got hyped up by me watching."
"After enjoying a meal that I watched with so much anticipation I let those guys know that damn that food made my day! It makes an occurrence like just going to eat food a lot less boring dystopia and a lot more human!"-KableSoft
Thoughts At The Surface
"Go free diving. You have to leave absolutely everything behind at the surface. Quiet your mind, calm your body, and meditate while you sink into the weightless and peaceful embrace of Mother Ocean."
"Plus you can get super close to all of your gilled friends. Or rock climbing (real climbing outside), similar concept but not quite as immersive."-saynotosealevel
It's A Ritual
"I could give a bs answer like music and video games but if I'm honest it's drinking whiskey outside at night. I'm a night owl and I feel more alive during night time."
"Whiskey soothes me during the day. So doing both just works. Sometimes I just go outside look at the stars and take a swig or two."
"If it's raining then it's 10x better. I know it's not healthy but I'm poor so I can't afford therapy but I can afford whiskey and there will always be another night."-AStrangeViking
As creatures of habit, we create the same world to escape to over and over again. True human connection seems to arise, though, when we would rather be here, on planet Earth with that person, than in our own little worlds.
Or perhaps humans can work on making more friendly and welcoming little worlds together.
Everyone has friends who you become less and less close to with each passing year.
This isn't always by choice, though, but simply by circumstance, when your lives both take different directions.
In some cases, however, we do find ourselves making a very conscious decision to stop spending time with certain friends.
Owing to the fact that these people might not be our friends after all.
In certain cases, the communication ends as the result of one specific moment.
Redditor D1Tytos was curious to hear the triggering moment when people decided to end their friendships, leading them to ask:
"What's the moment that made you realize your so called 'friends' were really just d*cks?"
Lack of Compassion
"When I got cancer and they never checked on me."- justagirlx19
Being Taken Advantage Of
"Worked with and rented a large house with my friend group after high school."
"Dumb and inexperienced with life, I didn’t know they were lying to me about bills and making me pay more/whatever they felt like until a family member asked about it."
"Eventually they all looked at moving into a new place without telling me."
"I felt guilty and confessed they would basically steal my money to shop with and planned on moving out while I was visiting family so I came back to an empty place and responsible for everything."- dylandbloom
"I found myself getting irritated whenever they called/hit me up."
"Because every time they'd only ask for something , never just to talk to hang out."- ybbetter_ratio
Happy Birthday Indeed...
"The last time I tried throwing a birthday party for myself."
"It always seemed like the ratio of people who said they'd come to people who actually showed was...lacking."
"But my final attempt."
"I had 20+ people say they'd show."
"Exactly one actually came."
"I've never had a birthday party since."
"But I'm still good friends with the one guy who showed."- Lachwen
"They asked to not have one of the people in our group over."
"They didn't want to tell him there was no game, they just wanted him to knock and pretend no one was there."
"I wasn't very cool with this but they didn't want to be 'confrontational' with said person."
"Before the next week rolled around they were saying 'there wasn't going to be anything going on' that Saturday."
"I knew they were full of sh*t, but went by to confirm they were all there that Saturday, and sure enough they all were."
"Just dropped them like a sack of potatoes and never spoke to them again, no reason to."- MickCollins
"Had 3 friends."
"2 I liked and 1 I didn't really like at all."
"Turns out they had a secret group chat where they just called me slurs and talked about me behind my back."
"The guy I didn't like sent me screenshots of this and me and him have been friends 3 years now."- c_a_t2·
"When I stopped drinking and realized that’s all we had holding our friendship together."- BillieBoJangers·
"I remember I was severely depressed and I called someone I thought was my friend."
"When he realized I wanted to talk about real sh*t he made up an excuse to hang up."
"After that he kept ignoring my calls."
"What's crazy is I was there for that dude when his wife left him for another guy."
"There were times where I wanted to escape his depressing stories, but sat there and listened because he was my friend."- horsetoothjack@ss119
"Couples retreat of 3 pairs, other 2 girlfriends flaked last minute, leaving mine."
"They still came, then had the nerve to tell mine the trip would’ve been better without her right to her face when I was out surfing."
"This was never established as a guys trip at any point."
"She fed them, organized the trip as a whole, etc."
"Guy lies about his well-being being bad cus he loves how worried someone reacts."
"I called him out on it when he lied to someone else and he literally said 'I enjoy winding people up, I love how they react when I say x'."
"That's gross to me."- PastaNotFound
Ending a friendship is never pleasant.
But time heals everything, and over the course of a couple months, it might become evidently clear how much better off your life is without certain people in it.
We all have songs that we can't get out of our heads, resulting in our randomly humming them while walking down the street.
Among the most infectious songs are theme songs to TV shows.
Be it from tuning in every week to catch up with Friends who will always" be there for [us]", or being "stuck in the middle" of a Grace And Frankie binge, we often find ourselves humming the theme songs of our favorite shows more often than we find ourselves quoting the best lines.
Even if it means humming an infectious melody to a wordless piece of music (Will & Grace or Seinfeld anyone?)
Redditor LinksOtherUncle was curious to hear what people considered the all time greatest theme song to a TV show, leading them to ask:
"What is the greatest TV Show theme song of all-time?"
"Duck Tales, of course."- Beautiful-Stranger20
"Believe It Or Not It's Just Me!"
"Greatest American Hero!"- GayHole
"The Truth Is Out There"...
"X Files"- CheliBeanBeardx files GIF by The X-FilesGiphy
"Bum Bum BUM bum...bum bum BUM BUM bum bum bum..."
"Sanford and Son"- jkulpa
The Original MCU
"90s X-Men."- Ourobius
"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale..."
"Gilligan's Island"- Cantbetoobad1953Bored Gilligans Island GIF by TV Land ClassicGiphy
"It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights..."
"The Muppet Show theme song!"- Poorkiddonegood8541
"A World Of Criminals Who Operate Above The Law"
"Knight Rider!"- BladeBronson
"Heroes in a half-shell, TURTLE POWER!"
"The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon theme."- Petulant_Platypusninja turtles GIF by Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesGiphy
"You want to go where everybody knows your name."
The only thing more comforting than turning on our TVs to revisit a familiar town with familiar characters, is the comforting familiar music which greets us on our return.
Who hasn't had a moment when they learned what they thought was a revelatory piece of information, ran to share it with their friends, and were then greeted by a barrage of stone faces?
Owing to the fact that what we only just learned a few minutes ago, was apparently common knowledge.
These include your favorite movie star was in fact the offspring of another movie star, what gelatin is actually made of, or little tricks and strategies which make certain experiences so much more pleasurable.
For no particular reason, some people learn these things far later than just about everyone else.
Redditor Big_Piccolo_8369 was curious to learn which bits of common knowledge people were late to the party in knowing, leading them to ask:
"What is common knowledge that you found out way too late?"
"Always eat before shopping at Costco."- mtl_jim
Sometimes Silence Is Golden
"Just because I hold an opinion on something doesn't mean that I need to share it."
"I spent WAY too much of my early adulthood inserting my viewpoint into discussions that I wasn't really a part of."- xjuggernaughtx
How To Hold People Accountable
"Always get it in writing"- GKnivestake notes GIFGiphy
How To Keep Friendships Strong
"Simply asking 'how are you' once in awhile is all it takes to not fall apart from old friends."- a_burdie_from_hell
Know Your Worth
"Hard work isn’t always the answer."
"When I worked a minimum wage job, I would work hard and not take breaks, so a great job, and always finish early."
"I just then got told to pick up the slack for the employees who spent their time goofing off."
"Never got a promotion, raise, or even a 'hey, good job'."- Disco-Onion
Think Twice Before Lending Money
"That when people ask to borrow money especially if it's a friend or family just expect to never see it again."- Different-Chest-5716Loan Borrow GIFGiphy
Being well-educated in one area doesn't mean that a person can't be a total idiot in other areas."- Red-belliedOrator
Never Make Decisions When Angry
"'Every action made in anger ends in sorrow'."
"An attorney, when I was 24."- yours121110
"Don't make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings."- YoschnitzelAngry Inside Out GIF by Disney PixarGiphy
The Importance Of Sleep
"Going too long without sleep can impair your ability to drive the same way as drinking too much alcohol."- SuvenPan
We're all bound to be looked down upon every now and then for just learning something everyone else already knows.
Though always remember, the wisest ones are those who never want to stop learning.
I'm a simple person when it comes to video games.
I prefer to go with nostalgia.
All of these fancy deals put me on sensory overload.
But my goodness the technology really has come a long way.
And there are actual storylines and drama.
Good for y'all gamers.
Redditor TolisKoutrowanted everyone to list their thoughts on the greatest of the great.
"What video game do you consider a masterpiece?"
I love you Ms. Pac-Man. Always and forever.
It's a Ridevideo game physics jet GIFGiphy
"Roller Coaster Tycoon 2."
"Loved RCT2. The canned child laughing sound and the chain lifts noise are permanently burned into my brain."
my whole childhood...
"Man I miss Valve... Their games were designed in a way many developers could only dream of, they were revolutionary in almost everything they laid their hands on."
"Yeah that’s my whole childhood, still some of the best games… and actually playing HL- alyx for my very first VR experience was nuts. Loved it."
"They made a new game based in the Portal universe. It’s really short but it’s free and funny."
Better than Perfect
For real. The first one was absolutely perfect and then they somehow managed to make the second one even better."
"Portal 1's only fault is that it's very short. I just replayed it a decade since I last touched it and I cleared it in under 2 hours. Portal 2 had so much more room to add more mechanics, more puzzles, and more story. It's the perfect sequel."
"Half Life 2 was brilliant. After that I'd call out WoW Classic. It's hated now, but the first couple of years it was magic. It was a completely new experience exploring such a massive open world and nobody knew anything. So much fun on Ventrilo. Will remember forever. Championship manager in the early 90s. Maybe what I have played the most. I'll mention Fallout series, Witcher and Skyrim as well."
Simply the BestMovie Raise The Roof GIF by Star WarsGiphy
"Star Wars knights of the old Republic. KOTOR. Surprised it hasn’t been said."
"Absolutely! I played it as a kid and it practically taught me life lessons. KOTOR 2 is a little darker but quite good also."
How can you even tell any of the Star Wars games apart?
FAVE!!Episode 8 Mario GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Super Mario World. It’s perfect. I don’t think there’s a single thing about it that I would change."
"That game is awesome. That and Mario 64. But I love the soundtrack from Yoshi’s Island."
"Deus Ex the first one."
"At the time the open ended options and story presentation were both really impressive. You could really appreciate that the developer committed to that (e.g. you could physically destroy most locked doors). I think a lot of games stop short of doing that because they don’t want to allow brute force solutions in addition to more elegant ones."
"Journey. Not as long and vast as many games here but an artistic masterpiece in my books. It’ll age much better than most games too because of the simplicity."
"I absolutely love journey; the music mixed with the visual story telling is absolutely stunning. Also it has, imo, one of the most interesting multiplayer experiences of any game."
"It’s def one of my top three games, but Gris’ artwork and music are peak for me. Also if you really enjoyed the exploration of Journey, you’ll probably love Outer Wilds. Great game, it’ll leave you wishing you could forget it and play it all again."
"Chrono Trigger, if you know you know, and if you don't, go play it immediately."
"Definitely, I feel like some of the best RPGs came from the SNES and Sega era. Chrono Trigger, FF 6, Secret of Mana, super Mario RPG, Earthbound, shining force 2, Phantasy Star 4. Still some of my favorites that i try to revisit every year or so."
"Came here for Chrono. Time travel just makes for amazing stories, and I love how you can make the game different each play through."
i can see your...Master Chief Game GIF by HaloGiphy
"Halo 3. Incredible story and thrilling gameplay. Hilariously fun multiplayer. Fantastic community. Nostalgia."
Video games have surely come a long way from Atari.
What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.