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Category: Books

Carbon Copying

This post was inspired after reading ‘Who is Tom Ditto’ by Danny Wallace, yet this is not a book review. The novel just got me thinking.

The idea behind the Carbon Copying concept is to piggy-back ride the fun. You start following someone for a limited time and start to do exactly what they are doing. Go follow them to the same places, order the same food – with the aim that the person shows you things you wouldn’t have experienced on your own. You step out of your life, become invisible, and step into a new one. Seeing someone in the street and rather than only thinking where they are going and what they do, you go find out. I, on the contrary, start imagining complex stories that impress me. Thinking that the other person is really fascinating and too cool for me – always assuming there is a huge back story that doesn’t compare to mine. I think everyone has probably had the thought at one point that your own life might not be enough. The thought that you’re not doing enough things, not going out enough, not saying yes often enough,… spending too much time on social media watching other people do fun things. FOMO is real and I am guilty of it too. Now CC jumps in and gives you the option to enjoy someone else’s day.

Not making any decisions – a dream for me personally as someone who hates making decisions. Actually, that is not completely true. I don’t enjoy planning things, I am much better at being spontaneous. Yet I don’t think CC enables you to double the fun. Just because you physically share the same experience doesn’t mean you feel the same things. Imagine watching a group of friends at a restaurant, 5 of them having a great time – yet you sit alone at your table. This is not piggy-backing the fun, this might even trigger more FOMO. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for walking through life with open eyes, taking every opportunity you get given and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. But staying you while doing everything is a crucial aspect that the concept that Danny Wallace is presenting in ‘Tom Ditto’ is lacking.

Something I find a lot more relatable is carbon copying on a personal level. When you start spending a lot of time with someone and you start picking up phrases that the other person uses. But I don’t think this has anything to do with imitating – more so to do with admiring and being open. I do believe that every person has their own identity. Something that they were more or less born with, a structure in their personality that is given. Of course everyone is shaped by their experiences and there is a process involved in becoming you that never truly stops. In that sense I like the thought that you take in little snippets from people around you – whether it might be good or bad and combine them all into your structure of identity. That is a personal observation that only you can see and identify, no carbon copying can give you a complex insight into a personality. And my favorite moments in a discussion are when you realize there is whole aspect to the topic that you have never thought about before, broadening your horizon completely. So no, I don’t go out and follow people, conversations are my weapons of choice.

Much love, Elena

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