Object Permanence

In Life on December 23, 2011 by thebetweenthoughts Tagged: ,

[Editor’s note: I thought about writing a blog entry announcing a return to blog writing…but I think I’ve done that enough times to you.  The entry below has been sitting in draft/half-formed status for awhile.  Hopefully, this will be the first of a new series of entries from this lowly blog.  Enjoy!]

It’s developmental psychology time!

Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen, heard, or touched.  It is acquired by human infants between 8 and 12 months of age via the process of logical induction to help them develop secondary schemes in their sensori-motor coordination.  This step is the essential foundation of the memory and the memorization process.”

I remember that when I was a kid, I thought that I was the center of the world.  Everyone around me was a supporting actor in a grand production that starred me.  I had no concept of the world outside my experience.  I knew that things like “Russia” existed, but I honestly didn’t believe it.  When you’re a child, there is no reason to think otherwise.  Why would there be a world outside of your fingertips?  The world serves no purpose if it isn’t directly entertaining you.

As a generation, I don’t believe we’ve really grown out of this phase.  We have yet to develop object permanence.  Sure, we may be world travelers…we might be connected with people around the world through Facebook…we may contribute and send aid to disasters half a world away…but we’re still completely focused on ourselves.  As much as we like to tout our social-mindedness, we’re probably the most insular, disconnected and self-centered generation that ever existed.  If one day I found out that I was living in a Truman Show-like world where everyone was playing a part for me, I don’t think I would actually be surprised.  For years, we have been sold on the idea that we’re a generation that can do no wrong.  Instead of losing or falling short of our goals, the bar has become lowered so that our self-esteem stays intact.  With this over-inflated sense of self-esteem comes an over-inflated sense of self-importance.  We see our actions and our thoughts as having more significance and weight than other people’s. (Isn’t the whole concept of blogging evidence of this fact?  We’re a content-generating group who feel that our thoughts need to be shared.  The world would be a lesser place without our content.)  There are no longer any authorities, since we feel that our knowledge base, our morality, our sense of social order trumps all others.

So what can be done?  Should anything be done?  Is there anything wrong with a society where we all act as if we’re the centers of our own little worlds?

…I’m not sure.  But then, does my opinion really matter?  Whatever thoughts you have right now about the subject will most likely remain unchanged after reading this.  This is more than lack of object permanence developing; it is lack of concept and thought permanence developing.  The thoughts outside of our own head have no merit, no substance.

[Lovely…my return post to blogging is about how there is no merit to what you’re reading…]

I’ll continue to write though, since obviously my thoughts matter more than yours.



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