Guy Discovers Some People Don’t Hear Their Thoughts, And Twitter Is Weighing In

A popular Twitter account shared a “fun fact” that is currently destroying people’s lives. Popular user @KylePlantEmoji wrote, “Fun fact: some people have an internal narrative and some don’t As in, some people’s thoughts are like sentences they “hear”, and some people just have abstract non-verbal thoughts, and have to consciously verbalize them And most people aren’t aware of the other type of person.”

Is this even true? Well, yes, kind of. As Buzzfeed reports, there was a small study done in 2011 that indicates some people never have “inner speech,” or words that travel through their head.

They see concepts, images, feelings…as someone who does think in words, it’s hard to imagine what this is like or how it’s possible to even have conversations or write anything without the ability to plan speech in your head. And a few of these thinkers responded to Mr. Kyle by admitting that, yes, all those things are difficult:

It’s hard to imagine how other people see the world when it is so outside your own experience—outside of your internal experience, in which you are immersed at all times. So, lots of folks are freaking out about this new vision of other people’s minds, especially a guy named Ryan Langdon, who wrote a viral WordPress blog about how the Kyle tweet destroyed his world. Its starts:

My day was completely ruined yesterday when I stumbled upon a fun fact that absolutely obliterated my mind. I saw this tweet yesterday that said that not everyone has an internal monologue in their head. All my life, I could hear my voice in my head and speak in full sentences as if I was talking out loud. I thought everyone experienced this, so I did not believe that it could be true at that time.

internal narrative vs abstract

via Facebook/Ryan Langdon

Langdon started asking everyone in his life what kind of thinker they were: do they process in words or images? And he got some interesting responses:

internal narrative vs abstract internal narrative vs abstract internal narrative vs abstract

He also had an Instagram poll going:

internal narrative vs abstract

Langdon ended up writing another blog post he titled “There Are People Who Are Unable To Visualize Their Thoughts,” explaining that after he wrote his initial blog, he “received a ton of messages about a condition called ‘Aphantasia,’ where people are physically unable to visualize things in their mind.” He explains: “Most of you can visualize things like your family member’s face, your car, or your childhood home. However, some people only see black.”

“How have I made it 25 years in life without realizing that people don’t think like me?” Langdon wondered. And maybe that’s the real take away from this “fun fact.”

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