“Alternative Facts” Are Real. The Truth Is Subjective!

Anyone who knows me knows I am not at all political (at least, not anymore!). However, about a month ago, I did happen to run across something political on my Facebook feed about a new common phrase: “alternative facts.” I found this phrase and the debate about it absolutely fascinating.

For those you who live under a political rock bigger than the one I do, the phrase “alternative facts” was used by U.S. Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway. Conway used this phrase to defend a “false” statement by White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer about the size of the crowd at President Trump’s inauguration.

Lots of Americans (and probably people worldwide too) were aghast with this phrase. To many people, the phrase “alternative facts” is just a deceptive way to say “lies.”

Not me, though. I love this term!

My love of “Alternative Facts”

Now I don’t love this term because I’m a Trump supporter, or a conservative or anything like that. I personally believe politics are largely a charade, and they really have no necessary bearing on anyone’s individual reality.

In my opinion, politics are a unique blend of entertainment and scapegoating. They serve mostly as a good stress-relieving punching bag for the frustrated and disenfranchised people of the world.

I believe we each create our own realities, and the only things that control us are things we hand our power over to. Therefore, I have no use for voting, or choosing sides. I imagine we’d probably do just fine without government altogether if we decided that’s what we wanted to do.

No, I love phrase “alternative facts” because I think it’s the perfect way to describe what happens when you try to uncover “the truth.”

A world of infinite truths and perspectives…

Ultimately, I have my unique perspective and you have yours. We each have our own facts, some that jive with each other, and some that do not.

For example, let’s say you and I are sitting in the same room listening to someone give a talk at the same exact time.

Our realities have merged in many of the same ways. There are many aspects of your reality and my reality at this talk that may appear very similar, if not exact.

However, you are sitting in a different seat than I am, so your view of the speaker is different than mine. You notice different things happening in the room than I do. Some of what is obstructed from my view you see clearly, and vice versa.

I may be daydreaming while the speaker says something that resonates strongly with you. I may be sitting under the air conditioning vent while you are sitting next to the speakers which are giving off extra heat.

Perhaps I came to the talk from a place of despair and depression, but you showed up in a good mood.

Ask us both to recount what happened after the talk, and you’ll soon find many “alternative facts” popping up between our stories.

Who’s truth is the actual truth?

Who was right, you or me? Well, we probably both were, even though much of what we remembered was different!

Ultimately, there is no absolute way for us to agree entirely on precisely what happened at the talk. Why? Because I can’t see things fully from your perspective, and you can’t see things from mine!

As of right now, there doesn’t appear to be any kind of technology to allow me to jump into your exact perspective. I can’t entirely grasp or comprehend all of the details, events and circumstances that have led you to develop your interpretation of the facts of the talk.

I only saw what I saw and heard what I heard from my perspective, not yours.

We constantly disagree on facts…

Aside from mathematics, I can’t think of any topic or subject we all agree on. Can you?

We debate the facts of history, science, religion and philosophy. This, by the way, is why I love math for understanding the workings of the universe, but that’s another topic for another time.

Additionally, not only are there alternative facts between us, but there are alternative facts within us. What I knew as fact at the age of 18 is much, much, MUCH, different from what I know as fact at the age of 37.

What is healthy today, is unhealthy tomorrow. The truths of today become yesterday’s fiction tomorrow. Perspective, and therefore the facts of perspective, are constantly shifting, evolving and changing.

And yes, even what we have recorded through audio and video equipment may just be “alternative facts” as well.

Consider the Mandela Effect:

If this idea of “alternative facts” fascinates you, consider looking into something called the “Mandela Effect.”

According to the Mandela Effect, it’s possible for you to shift timelines and end up in realities with “alternative facts” to the ones you recall. Something you remembered as a fact from your past may no longer be a fact supported by the recordings and data we have today.

For instance, when I was growing up I was very fond of a series of books about a family of cute bears who lived in a tree.

I also was the school spelling bee champion, and I have always been proud of my ability to recall proper spellings to words I’ve seen only a time or two. When it comes to these bears, I doubt there’s a person on this planet who believes in his or her ability to spell their name correctly better than I.

So imagine my surprise when I come to learn that the name of this beloved family of bears is the “BerenSTAIN Bears.”

Sorry, not for me.

When I was growing up, it was the “BerenSTEIN Bears.” Maybe you have the same recollection.

Turns out there are many people who recall the same spelling as me, yet supposedly all of the books in today’s reality have the “BerenSTAIN” spelling stamped on the cover.

As I see it, “BerenSTEIN” was the spelling used in my childhood. I’m sticking to my recollection, despite the “alternative facts” clearly in print for me to see today.

Facts are subjective. Live and let live.

So instead of worrying about what the facts are, maybe we would be well-advised to consider ALL facts as alternative facts. Perhaps your facts ARE indeed the facts of your reality, even when they totally disagree with the facts of mine.

As for the facts of my reality, they clearly demonstrate to me we are ALL right, even when there is zero consensus between us. We are the only accurate fact checkers of our own individual realities. The only facts that matter are the facts that matter to us.

XO, Andrea

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  • Colleen
    Posted March 2, 2017 7:37 pm 0Likes

    I can relate so much to this. Not too long ago I thought there was a truth and that if we couldn’t know it now, we would know it when we died or others would know it. But I realized I changed when someone said something about a politician and said, “the truth would come out” and I thought, no, there is no truth, there is only perspectives. It is good news because I don’t want to live other people’s truths if their perspective is skewed negatively.
    I can also easily memorize how a word is spelled after seeing it once or twice and I distinctly remember my kids watching the Berenstein Bears on TV and then around 2005 seeing one of the books and thinking, when did the name change?

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted March 3, 2017 12:24 pm 0Likes

    LOL Colleen, have no idea when it changed. I only recently came to learn this when I was looking in to the Mandela Effect. That’s crazy that you have a more recent memory than I.

    Glad I’m not alone on this one, and also glad to hear others out there are flexible on “truths!” It’s just lovely shifting into a reality where these ideas are more commonly understood.

    XO, Andrea

  • Bobby
    Posted March 15, 2017 2:38 am 0Likes

    PHENOMENAL article!!!!!!!! Seriously!!!!!! I am bookmarking — this is sooo true!!!!! I agree to this; dont always follow it but I am learning. Sometimes (because I am very level headed, blase, and carefree most of the time) I feel very strongly when I am strong in my convictions because I usually either don’t care or not that passionate about the topic unless I am positive I’m “right” ;; thats ego me though … I know better that right and wrong is all perspective.

    I love that I can notice and self reflect through many of your articles. I dont mean to speak about myself so often — perhaps you are Bob Ross painting the picture and I am just at home trying my best to emulate/relate to it 😛 Thank you xoxo

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted March 15, 2017 10:10 am 0Likes

    LOL I’ll take the Bob Ross reference, he was one of my favorites RIP! <3

    PS. Nothing wrong with being passionate about what you believe, as it is TRUE for you! The work for me has been just to realize that all persepctives are valid in their own way XOXO

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