this just in: fiction does affect reality!
the proof: the goddamn slenderman stabbing, y’know, the ones where the girls did it because of stories? the one that got an ACTUAL DOCUMENTARY (which was horrible and full of plagiarism tbh)
Also: Jaws, which sparked an irrational fear of sharks to the point where they’re being killed left and right for no reason other than we’re scared of them and think they go after humans intentionally (they don’t; sharks will only bite humans if they mistake one for another animal, but the ‘test bite’ can still be fatal)
And: Birth of a Nation. Literally revived the fucking KKK.
13 Reasons Why: inspired “copycat suicides” and attempts. Increased suicide rates.
Fiction is neither created nor consumed in a vacuum. It both influences culture and is influenced by culture. Playing violent video games won’t make a kid shoot up his school, nor will Harry Potter make kids into Satanists. However, the media you consume is influenced by the world you live in, it will influence how you see the world you live in, it will influence how you interact with the world you live in, and the media you create will be influenced by the world you live in, and will in turn influence others.
This is a fact of life, so much so that I was able to take an entire college class on the interaction between real science and science fiction. This was a full quarter course, taught at a highly respected state-level four-year university. You don’t get to teach a college course on just any old bullshit, and especially not at a state university campus. If fiction had zero impact on reality, the course wouldn’t have had any material to justify its existence. And I’m adding this example on top of the examples provided above. There are more examples out there. But go ahead and tell me again how fiction has no impact on reality because you don’t wanna admit that your adult/minor and victim/abuser and incest ships are unhealthy, or you don’t understand why representation is important and you want all those whiny minorities to stop calling out your faves.
That was sarcasm. I use it because I have been saying this for about a century now, the last five years most obviously.