A few days ago, my ten year old forwarded an email to me containing one of those modern electronic chain letters. You know the sort: enter your favorite color, your pet’s name and the month you were born, forward it to 20 people and something magical will happen. Not wanting to miss a skeptical teaching moment, I replied to my daughter’s email asking if she thought there was any truth to this exercise. No, she wrote back, but it’s fun. Smart girl.
I recently wasted ninety minutes of my life watching a movie with no positive qualities whatsoever. Of course, my kids quickly declared it the second funniest movie ever. It was edged out by a YouTube video involving a cat and a magic marker. Well, the movie wasn’t entirely without merit. There was one of those scenes shot on a roller coaster from the perspective of a rider. The dips, the turns, the twists. I love those! Is it real? Of course not. But it’s fun.
But while enduring the mind numbing remainder of my kids’ second funniest film, that roller coaster scene got me thinking. Scenes like that in movies are fun because we have given our permission to be fooled. And simply by doing so, we can experience physiological effects like feeling our stomach drop and our bodies shift to balance on the turns of the coaster track.
Allowing our minds to be tricked can be entertaining and provide a physical manifestation. Just remember that you are doing it in fun. When you get carried away and believe the deception, there are problems.
Brett L. Kinsler, DC is a skeptical chiropractor in Rochester.