Shower Thoughts: Hypothetically…
By Amelia Wallworth
You’re on a desert island, what three items are you bringing with you?
What would your perfect day look like, from start to finish?
If you were to live inside one movie, which would it be?
Ah, the trusty hypothetical. We’ve all encountered them, whether it be during an ice breaker or in the would-you-rather section of a magazine. They seem pretty surface level, right? Reserved for conversations with people you’ve just met or ones you don’t have much else to talk about with. But I’m a firm believer that hypothetical questions are seriously underrated, and I think it’s time we stop neglecting their conversational potential.
Here’s the thing: as long as you have hypotheticals, you have conversation. Hypothetically, not even the sky is the limit. You can ask anything and get an answer which is completely made up. In our usual conversations, we’re restricted by reality. If I ask you what you’ve done today or how you’re enjoying your courses, there’s really only one answer — the truth. You don’t get to use your imagination to create something completely new. And that’s precisely why I find hypotheticals so amusing: you get to create this whole other world through conversation. No truth holding you down, no reality keeping you in check.
And while the freedom of hypotheticals offers an amusing conversation, how we use that freedom also says a lot about ourselves and the people we’re talking to. Our answers tell us a bit about who we are, who we want to be, and how we want the world to see us.
So the next time someone asks you which famous person you would want as a dinner guest or how you plan to survive the zombie apocalypse, don’t think of it as a throwaway question. Embrace it. Dive into the world of hypotheticals. It might just surprise you.