The Swiss psychiatrist who inspired a viral TikTok hashtag

The Swiss psychiatrist who inspired a viral TikTok hashtag

11/28/2021 9:59:00 AM

The Swiss psychiatrist who inspired a viral TikTok hashtag

The #shadowwork movement stems from Carl Jung's writings. But he'd probably tell its adherents to get off social media.

examining the connections between Jung’s ideas and BTS’s songs.Evidently — 60 years after his death — Jung still exerts a pull. But what can this pipe-smoking scholar teach us about our brave new world?AdvertisementFor one, he can help us navigate the pitfalls of social media — including TikTok. Jung believed everyone has a persona, which he

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“a kind of mask.” Your persona is the mask you wear when out in the world: at work, at school, with friends and family. It’s who you pretend to be in public.Story continues below advertisementYou need a persona to function in society. But it’s unhealthy to identify with that persona to the point that it makes you forget who you really are.

Jung“becoming identical” with the persona. As he saw it, once that happened, “then the damage is done; henceforth [the individual] lives exclusively against the background of his own biography.”Social media is a persona generator. Userscurate their profiles

and play to the digital crowd to garner likes. Caught up in the dopamine rush, it’s easy to identify with one’s online persona and forget to think for oneself. This is especially true for teenagers, who are still figuring out where they stand. As one 20-year-old

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to The Times of London: “It’s clear the impact social media is having on us. We can no longer tell what is real.”AdvertisementStory continues below advertisementJung feared modernity would devour the individual. Shortly before his death in 1961, he warned of a world where the individual “has lost his individuality and become a mere abstract number in the bureau of statistics.” (If only he’d lived to witness the

Age of Big Data.)But is there a Jungian remedy to our ultramodern maladies? If there is, it starts with rediscovering the power of solitude. Not merely to be alone, but to be alonewith just our thoughtshe memorably told a patient, “who looks inside awakes.”

So if Jung were here, he might have some advice for you: Close this tab, uninstall TikTok (even if it’s spreading his ideas to a much bigger audience than ever) and put away your smartphone. Look inside; start awaking.

Read more: The Washington Post »

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