SOLC Day 22: Stress Test

March 2021 SOLC–Day 22
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

Do you remember that Facebook furor about the dress? The Is it white or is it blue? hubbub? I can’t remember what the actually neurological science behind it was, but I find those optical images fascinating. It’s amazing how we’re wired to perceive the world in certain ways. So, yesterday, as I was scrolling through Facebook and maybe procrastinating about writing report cards, this image, that a friend posted, caught my eye.

No photo description available.

That’s funky looking. What is it?

I read the caption: “This image was created by a Japanese neurologist. If you are calm, the photo does not move, if the picture moves you are a little stressed and if the picture moves like a carousel you are very stressed.”

Oh. That’s cool. But I didn’t see that picture move at all.

I scroll up a bit to look at the picture again more carefully.

Ohhhh. It is moving! Whoa!

I read the caption again.

Wait! So, the fact that it’s moving means I’m stressed? Well, that’s no surprise. But what does it mean if it didn’t move until someone told me it might? Does that just mean I’m suggestible, not stressed? (Or maybe I didn’t look long enough…) If I’m stressed, how stressed am I? Does “moves like a carousel” mean that central section spins? Cause it’s definitely rotating now that I’m looking at it! Does it matter if it’s spinning fast or slow? If it’s movingclockwiseorcounterclockwise?IfIkeeplookingatit,isitgoingtomovefaster?OMG!It ismovingfaster!Thatcan’tbegood!Really!Itismovingfasterandfaster.IthinkI’mgettingdizzy!


I rip my eyes away from the compelling picture and scroll on past quickly.

Later, telling my husband about this experience, I finished by saying, “It was all fun and games til the carousel started spinning!”

He laughed but I shuddered. I am not looking at that picture again! Anyway, I suspect that thing was a stress inducer not a stress indicator. No doubt planted by Russian bots to sow anxiety amidst the US masses.

It’s surprisingly effective.

Or maybe I’m just vulnerable. How stressed am I anyway? Maybe I should take one of those Facebook quizzes…