Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The Copy Cat Effect Is In Full Swing!

The Joule Report logoCopy Cat Image

I remember being in school and it was a mortal sin to be known as a “Copy Cat.” Oh the humiliation if you were caught copying someone else’s work. Unfortunately, our world has changed and the Simulacrum Effect is in full bloom.

What’s the Simulacrum Effect? It is a replica of a replica and you and I participate in this copied reality more than we care to admit.

For instance, it’s “Throw Back Thursday” on FaceBook. You have a photocopy of a picture taken with you and your best friend 15 years ago. You then take a picture of the picture on your cell phone and post the replicated replica on Facebook.

YOU, Mr. or Ms. Copy Cat, have now been a willing contributor to the Simulacrum Effect!

Seems innocent enough right? No harm, no foul; but when did the Simulacrum Effect take an ugly turn? Let’s dissect this growing phenomena and place it in its modern-day context of mimesis which is the imitation of the real world in art and literature or the deliberate imitation of the behavior of one group of people by another as a factor of social change. There used to be a colloquialism which stated “art imitates life.” But in between the morphed phantasm of reality television, salacious news reporting, and social media outlets, life has begun to imitate this distorted new-age art.

Beyonce Knowles, also known as Queen B, Sasha Fierce, Bey, Yonce, Mrs. Carter, and a few other monikers I’ve probably missed gets her picture taken by the paparazzi more times in a minute than most people receive in their entire lifetime. You often see photos of her whisking away with perfectly coiffed hair, tailored made costumes, and six inch stilettos with Blue Ivy in tow. Two days later you drive down the street and see a young mother walking her son to the park in four inch heels, leotard with boy shorts as a coverup, humming “All the Single Ladies.”

Beyonce imageIt looks ridiculous when you read it, but it is even more fantastical when you witness it because you recognize it is a replication of a copy from a distorted reality that should only exist on the stage and sometimes not even there. But when Beyonce is off stage, away from the camera, and in the sanctity of her home with friends, the real mother and wife has aImage completely different persona. Unfortunately, it has become more and more increasingly difficult for people to separate the two.

Thusly, life begins to imitate art and perceived reality becomes the new normal. The Simulacrum Effect not only happens in life, but also in business. We receive snippets of information. Google has successfully launched AdSense, Google News, and Gmail because of its 20% rule which allows employees to spend 20% of their time on passion projects designed to propel Google forward. When founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin highlighted this concept in 2004, right before the IPO, there was a massive wave of businesses copying this idea and implementing it into their business structure. Today, there are talks that this famed 20% rule is all but defunct in practice as employees don’t have enough time to work on passion projects if it even existed beyond a good idea at the time it was announced.

Whether it does or does not is of no consequence. The point is not to get caught up in mirroring what you see, read, or hear.

You are truly an original.

So much so that all the digits on your eight fingers and two thumbs do not have the exact same print. You will never do the world any justice if you spend your energy mimicking others instead of choosing your unique voice and impacting the world.

I invite you to really look at all 8 major areas in your life: spiritual, mental, physical, romantic love, financial, career, family, and friends. Determine where you may be showing up inauthentically because you are doing things you have witnessed others do. Search your heart and look for areas where you may be unhappy because you took on challenges that didn’t align with your purpose. Be mindful there may be a lot of imitation there, but now that you know about the Simulacrum Effect and you can easily recognize when it’s not an original, simply remove the “Copy Cat” program and replace it with your own thoughts, ideas, and actions.

If you need some support I am always here. Drop me a line at support@erspaulding.com.