Hot new trend: Kids on TikTok are convinced we’re living in a simulation

[The theory that our entire existence is an advanced simulation is going viral on TikTok, as reported in this link-filled short story from Futurism. The December 22 Your Tango roundup it mentions has more examples and notes that “The simulation theory hashtag on TikTok already has 27.4 million views and the simulation hashtag has 624.4 million views — that means it’s gaining a ton of traction on TikTok.“ The September 2020 Bustle story “#GlitchTok Viral TikTok Videos Are The Best Way To Creep Yourself Out” says “There are thousands of videos to lose yourself in, and comment sections to theorize in. Search for #glitch, #conspiracytheories, #matrix, #simulation, and explore from there — if you want to believe.” I also found several “Simulation Theory” songs on TikTok including ones by Calavera, Sergey Kolosov and Truth & Truth. These stories don’t mention it but perhaps living through the era of Donald Trump and a global pandemic has something to do with this new attention to the theory, as if the creators of our simulation are experimenting with or torturing us (see ISPR Presence News posts from 2020, 2018 and 2016). In any case regardless of the theory’s validity, the fact that the ultimate form of presence is a cultural trend is interesting on its own, suggesting that as our presence-evoking technologies increasingly blur mediated and nonmediated, actual and artificial, the metaphor of simulation becomes more compelling. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Your Tango]

Hot New Trend

KIDS ON TIKTOK ARE CONVINCED WE’RE LIVING IN A SIMULATION

December 23, 2020
By Dan Robitzski

For the past few weeks, simulation theory has been spreading across TikTok.

A growing number of TikTokers are signing on to — or at least considering — the idea that our world is a giant, Matrix-like simulation, as demonstrated in a roundup by YourTango. The idea spreading across the platform is that some super-advanced civilization, be it human or alien, built a virtual environment so powerful that we, as cognizant as we feel, are all just digital characters living in a sophisticated video game.

Base Level

Simulation theory — first proposed in 2001 by Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom — spread across the app after TikToker Heidi Wong posted a video that introduced the hypothesis and argued that we’re more likely to live in a simulation than reality, citing recent advances in video game graphics as evidence.

“Out of all these simulations there’s only one base reality, so statistically we are more likely to be in a simulation,” Wong argued.

YouTango also pointed to personalities on the platform including Scarlett Mills, Emily Montgomery, and Ashley Lanese that jumped on the trend.

“Basically we are living inside a video game,” said TikToker Nikki Jain. “Honestly, this does make sense if you think about how realistic video games are getting day by day and all the little glitches you see in the world that are unexplainable would make sense behind this theory.”

Bugging Out

To be clear, there’s not yet any way to test the simulation hypothesis, and the fact that it’s hard to actively disprove doesn’t make it true no matter how many big names, including Elon Musk advocate for it.

But that isn’t stopping TikTokers from trying. Though it may be tongue-in-cheek, other accounts have started posting what they call “glitches in the Matrix,” according to YourTango, which might include objects seemingly appearing out of nowhere or cars hitting invisible objects.

More on Simulation Theory: Simulation Theory “May Cause the Annihilation of our Universe.”

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