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Pros of using self-insert media

I've always enjoyed reading and watching stories that involve putting myself in the characters' shoes. Whether it's a character that represents you in the story or just someone who shares some characteristics with you, I believe there are numerous benefits of using self-insert media to explore your own personality, thought patterns, and emotions. These are some of my thoughts on why it's beneficial for people to use stories as tools when looking within ourselves for answers about who we want to be, as well as how we can make changes in our life based on what we learn from these explorations.

Increased self-awareness and self-understanding.

The blurry silhouette of a woman comes into focus in her right eye, which is seen through her fingers.

Self-insert media can help you explore and understand your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It can give you a tangible representation of these emotions. This can be especially helpful for people who feel like they have difficulty expressing themselves or identifying their feelings.

Self-insert characters may also be used as tools for self-discovery by allowing users to see how their personal characteristics match up with those of their favorite characters in the media they consume (ever heard of people identifying with Friends or Sex and the City characters?).

Increased social connection and support.

Eight sweater-clad arms in a circle join their hands in the middle.

Eight sweater-clad arms in a circle join their hands in the middle.

Self-insert media can be a great way to connect with others. You can talk about it with your friends, who will likely have their own thoughts and theories. You can also share your thoughts online on sites like Tumblr or Reddit where fandom discussions thrive. Fiction allows people from all over the world to bond over character development.

It may sound like I'm being overly optimistic here (I totally am), but another benefit of this kind of self-expression is that it offers a sense of community and support for those who need it most--especially when they're feeling down or isolated. Stepping into a new identity and being in a community of folks who do the same can be very empowering!

Enhanced creativity and imagination.

A person wearing a light blue button-down shirt sits at a table with multicolored paint covering their hands as they hold a mechanical pencil and a wooden brush.

Self-insert media can help you develop your creativity and imagination. When you're playing a game, for example, it's easy to get caught up in the action and forget about the fact that what you're doing is just a game.

This is one reason why it might be a good idea to make your character resemble you in some way, you'll be able to navigate this low-stakes fictional world with your own beliefs and experiences backing you up. If something happens that makes the character question their choices, you'll be challenged to reconsider your mindset as well.

Improved problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

A person is nearly done with a Rubik’s cube over a navy background. The three sides of the cube show red, yellow, and blue.

You'll learn to think outside the box.

You also become more open-minded and make decisions based on evidence and analysis rather than assumptions or personal biases, which will help you avoid making bad choices that could bring negative consequences later on down the line.

You learn how to overcome negative thinking and behavior when you see it in the character(s) that represent you in the story.

An old-school typewriter has a single sheet of white paper that reads the word “Cancel”.

When you see yourself in a character, it's easy to become attached. You want them to succeed and be happy. You also want their actions and decisions to reflect positively on you as a person: if they do something wrong, then maybe that means that you would have done the same thing had you been in their place.

So when your favorite character does something bad—like cheating on their significant other or stealing from someone else— it makes you reflect on what and who they represent for you. In this situation, self-insert media can help give perspective by reminding users that even though characters may have flaws, those flaws don't make them bad people overall; rather than being representative of who we are at all times during every aspect of our lives (which would obviously be impossible), most aspects will vary depending on circumstance and context!

Self-insert media gives you an outlet for processing your thoughts and emotions and can help point out ways to make your life better.

Fingers hold a dandelion over a blue and red sky.

You can use self-insert media as an outlet for processing your thoughts and emotions. If you're having trouble understanding why you feel the way you do about some people of situations, navigating those emotions through fiction can elucidate ways to make things better.

Self-insertion provides a safe space where we can examine our own behavior and see how it affects others. It also allows us to understand ourselves better by putting ourselves in other people's shoes--and seeing what would happen if we acted differently from how we normally do!

Self-insertion gives us an opportunity for enjoyment, fulfillment, connection with others (either offline or online), validation of our identity/personality traits/actions...the list goes on!

Types of self-insert media you can check out

  1. Interactive novels like 180 Files: The Aegis Project by Karelia Hall or You Live and Fern by Beetle Beth Writes.
  2. Visual novels like First Bite by First Bite Games or College Craze by Pretty Ink Games.
  3. Life sims like Animal Crossing or well, a classic like The Sims!

If you’re looking for a way to explore and express yourself, self-insert media may be an excellent option. It can help you discover what makes you unique, find ways to improve your life, and work through negative thoughts and behaviors by seeing them in others. Most importantly though? It’s fun!

Please note that the information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment because of something you have read on this blog. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately. The author of this blog is not a medical professional and the information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice.