Poll: Better or Worse? (Poll closed.)

For the next few weeks, I’ll be asking several questions. It’s time to look at general impressions of the Mandela Effect.

Roundabout sign - courtesy Colin BroughOne of the scientists curious about Mandela Effect (and how physics experiments might be affecting our timestream) raised an interesting point: If the Mandela Effect is real, do people feel as if the “slide” from one reality to another was an improvement?

I’m not sure that’s an objective question. Also, unless someone can recall a point where lots of things changed — or a single event (such as the earlier death of Nelson Mandela) seemed to make a significant difference — I’m not sure anyone can evaluate the impact of a single (and perhaps personal) reality shift.

In public and private comments, very few people describe a Mandela Effect event that changed everything.

Also, by the time anyone realizes a past event “never happened” in this timestream, I’m not sure he or she can look back and evaluate (objectively or subjectively) what else changed at that time. Generally, I think our focus remains on the single, changed event.

Nevertheless, this is a question worth asking. (One answer/vote per person.) [This poll is now closed.]

[yop_poll id=”4″]

Do you have additional thoughts about this poll? Please share them in comments.

UPDATE – Poll results

I ended the poll a few days early, since the results were clear. The following pie chart shows the top four answers.

Mandela Effect - better worse poll results

The most-voted answer was “neither better nor worse,” followed by “worse” and (light blue) “not sure,” and then “better in some ways, worse in others.”

The following bar graph shows the numbers, from fewest votes to most.

“Worse” outnumbered “better” more than three to one. That surprised me.Bar graph - Mandela Effect - better worse 2015 In this poll, 104 votes were cast in the United States. Most of the remaining 48 votes were cast in the UK and Ireland.

One deleted vote was merely a four-letter kind of insult that didn’t contribute to the discussion. Weirdly, it was cast via a “net nanny” type of server in the US, and that made me chuckle.

I’m not ready to draw any firm conclusions from this, but I welcome your comments about these results.

Roundabout photo courtesy of Colin Brough, UK

[UPDATE: Comments are now closed.]

11 thoughts on “Poll: Better or Worse? (Poll closed.)”

  1. When I first experienced what I would eventually come to agree is a “Mandela Effect” I was living in St. Louis. Within the space of a couple of weeks, my entire view of reality turned upside down – including someone I was sure loved me suddenly revealing an affair and the desire to end our 8 month engagement, my job getting trashed by someone else with a vested interest in supporting it, my own mother attempting to kill me . . . and it all happened in September of 1998.

    At the time, I would certainly have said that the new time line was worse. Now, I’m not so certain. We are, for better or worse, the composite of the desires, experiences and decisions we bring to the present moment – no matter how we brought them to this moment or from where. Yes, it is sort of weird to remember a certain event and know that what what I remember is not real to the other people involved in the event. However, it does not change how that event shaped me or what is real to me now, and I LIKE what is real to me now.

  2. Fiona, I agree with what you have written. Some of the things I may, or could associate with a shift, someone else may not (if they were even aware of the same one). I know the things that have changed for me since some of the shifts, may or may not be even because of them. For example, I have used the real or artificial feeling world since one of my major ones (one that others on here noticed also), but is it just the way the world has become, or is it because of the shifts? And that is just one example, I have to say, this stuff is SO hard to put in words, BUT this sub-topic takes the cake. Not even sure if this will make sense to anyone. It truly will be a subjective topic for all the reasons you mention. Mike

    1. Mike, those are some very good things to ponder. And you’re right, putting some of this into words… it’s challenging!

      I’d also question how much our behaviors are based on our memories, whether they fit the current reality or not. For example, let’s say someone slides into this reality from an alternate where his best friend had a past, well-hidden criminal history. But, in this reality, the friend had no such history. The person who slid decides, “Hmm, I wonder how I got that mistaken idea?” But, does the person who slid ever fully let go of the attitudes he acquired from the previous reality? Would this kind of thing explain some completely off-the-wall reactions we see in everyday life? (And, if we add the “observer” effect per quantum physics, would the friend now have a greater tendency towards criminal behavior, because one person close to him keeps expecting it?)

      This raises so many interesting questions!

      Cheerfully baffled,

  3. If one cant know what is happening in the world they existed in pre-shift, then how can one compare if it is better or worse?

    Id like to additionally share my probable first time experiencing a mandela effect. Its a personal story, but its one of my strongest memories as a young child.

    I was maybe 6-8 years old (putting the year in the 1982-84 range) and i was visiting my grandparents with my family. I found this Garfield toy – not exactly a toy, but i thought of it as such. You would push diwn the cat and it revealed some witty thing he would say in text. (Spring box loaded, 3-4 inches tall. For some reason i thought it was the greatest thing, and seeing how much I liked it my grandfather told me I could have it, very specifically. 2 days later, when we were leaving someone asked where the cat thing was and i said I packed it. And then I got in a whole mess of trouble and everyone said that I stole it. I was fairly mortified that they would all think this and tried to explain that my grandfather gave it to me. Except here was the problem. He said he didnt and that it wasnt even his, it was someone elses (cant remember who).

    I now think this was my first experience with the Mandela Effect. I hadnt thought about that in a while, but it has always sat with me wrong, and it popped in my head again while reading comments.

    1. Brian, thanks for sharing that alternate memory. Also, you raised a good point that I should clarify.

      I’m asking whether or not people feel that their lives improved after one or more Mandela Effect shifts.

      In other words, thinking about what else changed — starting around the time of the apparent reality shift — did life suddenly seem easier or happier, or the reverse, or a little of both?

      For example, around the time I recall Nelson Mandela’s (first) funeral, my life changed dramatically. I had a powerful reason to question almost everything I’d previously assumed was fine and normal. I started asking “why?” and I made huge changes in my life. Some were major improvements. Looking back, other decisions (at that time) make me wonder what I was thinking. But, all in all, my life veered sharply in a new direction.

      At some point after that — I’m not sure when — I found out that Mandela hadn’t died, after all. In this reality, he was still alive and wouldn’t die until 2013.

      But… when did I slide from one reality to another? I’m not sure.

      At least one slide happened after Mandela’s 20th-century death. Looking back on other changes around that time, I suspect one slide (of many…? I haven’t a clue) happened right after his 20th-century funeral. That’s when — seemingly “out of the blue” — my life didn’t make sense to me. I was working with goals and routines that didn’t fit the reality of the world around me, and I couldn’t pretend everything was fine. Worse, I couldn’t explain to myself why I’d previously thought it had been fine. (As I’m writing that, I’m wondering how many people’s “mid-life crises” are actually individual reality slides they’re each processing.)

      Had I realized it might be a very literal reality shift — a clean slate, in a way — I might have made different choices. And, if I find myself in that situation again, I already have a list of things I’d like to change. (After all, in the new reality, I’d already seem out-of-step. I wouldn’t have much to lose by completely reinventing myself.)

      Sure, after a slide, I doubt that anyone can track events in both (or all) realities to compare and contrast them.

      However, my question is about perceptions. Did life seem better (or easier, or happier) after a slide?


  4. I agree It’s hard to say if they are better or worse without knowing when the change happened. All I can say is I am unhappier in my life than I was, but I can’t say it’s related.

    Interesting that he suspects physics experiments. I was assuming that the fact that the internet allows many people to pool their memories was what allowed us to notice this, when such phenomena might have gone unnoticed before, or brushed aside.

    1. I happen to agree with you RayT, but I think it’s the Internet AND physics (time) expirements both coming into play. Mike

  5. Having my mind seriously blown there is some comfort that I am from the superior reality.

    Berenstein, Interview with a vampire, Sex In the City, Mandela, Tank Boy, Sara Lee, colours – these are the ones that don’t match for me (the others I’m not familiar with)

    The reality I’m in now IS crappier – eg. Sex In the City is a much snappier and wittier title, the Sara Lee tagline makes more sense and is just better 🙂 …. (it also matches the storylines of the TV ads I remember).

    I have no idea what it is – is the universe unravelling to a more idiotic state ? is someone/thing messing with time to create a more idiotic universe ? Did a multiverse collapse into the more idiotic version ?

    Why is this effect mainly around subtle changes in relatively inane pop culture ? It feels almost intentional … gaslighting.

  6. Discussing with a pal today who never encountered the ME phenomenon and he had only couple of different memories but he is convinced (a very wide read and learned fellow) that our reality has gotten much darker over the last few decades and that it is being meddled with. Our discussion focused on the ME correlating with broader political, social and cultural trends.

    An analogy that resonated was that we are living in photocopy version of a previous reality – each copy is slightly more degraded around the details. We remember the original document but that has been replaced the inferior copy.

    And as anyone who has worked in an office – photocopiers are inherently soul destroying evil machines.

    Perhaps it is not multiverse shenanigans or timey wimey stuff, but a disintegration of reality itself. Where is The Doctor when we need him ?

  7. Can’t say whether it’s for better or worse,but the observation that i presented more than a year ago,of entropy going slow,people aging less and looking young for a great length of,what we call time,touches the very roots of existentialism,the holy grail of all philosophies,the coveted goal of all sciences.That the observation is gaining traction in ‘Major Memories’ topic,vindicates my otherwise satirical presence in ME.

    1. Vivek, some of your comments (not all of which are approved) are clearly satirical. Others — whether intended as satire or not — have hit upon some remarkably powerful ideas. I never brush them off completely, as — this case being a good example — you’re so often correct, at least in part. Cheerfully, Fiona

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