Collective illusions — false assumptions about society that many people share — have existed for thousands of years in many different ways. Today, because of social media and modern technology, they have become even more common.
One example of a collective illusion is the commonly held belief that everyone wants fame, wealth, and power. That’s not true. Most of us want lives of purpose and meaning. But because of false assumptions, many of us spend our lives chasing things that won’t fulfill us.
Another example of a collective illusion is the pervasive idea that the U.S. is an irredeemably divided nation. Sure, Americans have plenty of disagreements. But fundamentally, they have more in common than they might think.
As former Harvard professor and bestselling author Todd Rose explains, the antidote to collective illusions is becoming a more authentic individual, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of how our innate drive to conform to social norms often works against that.
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