The “shifting”, or how the teenagers travel in the “desired reality”

By Célia Laborie

Posted today at 01:25

When she wants to “shifter”, Charlotte Skrzypczak, 19, always uses the same method. She designed it herself and refined it over the course of her numerous tests. “I lie on my back in my bed at night, with my eyes closed, and I say the alphabet. I think very hard about where I would like to be. After a few minutes, my head becomes very heavy, my head hurts and I start to see white flashes ”, details the young woman, who lives in the outskirts of Metz, with her mother and her stepfather. Charlotte then gets ready to go on a motionless journey. “The first time it worked was in November 2019. I found myself in a very calm plain, with flowers everywhere and birds singing. I could smell the cut grass, I could touch it with my fingers. I was alone, free, quiet. In a state of pure happiness. “

Meditation, lucid dreaming, self-hypnosis technique – or a little of all of these at once? “Shifter”, neologism from the English verb to shift, to “move” is to feel transported into another reality by the sheer force of thought. Those who have experienced it assure it: the feeling is much more realistic and disturbing than in any dream. To hope to reach this intermediate state of consciousness, it is advisable to start by writing a “script” describing the place where you want to project yourself mentally. The practice, born a few years ago in the United States, exploded in France in 2020. And even if some boys have ventured there, the vast majority of it seduces teenage girls in search of escape and magic. Most of them seek to be propelled into fictional universes like those of Harry Potter, cartoons of the genre of My Hero Academia or movies like The Lord of the Rings. On TikTok, the #shiftingrealities hashtag, which grew from 170 million views to over 1 billion between October 2020 and April 2021, now has 2.6 billion views. To support each other and motivate themselves, shifting enthusiasts have created particularly tight-knit support networks on the Internet. Those who have “made it” proudly display it on their profile, and publicly share their tips for achieving the long-awaited vertigo.

Training for months … in vain

But traveling through imaginary worlds is not for everyone. Most Internet users train for months on end without ever taking off their mattresses for a single second. Alice Delecourt, 15, has been desperately trying to shifter in the world of Harry Potter for almost a year. “I discovered this concept in October 2020 on TikTok, at a time when I was confined alone with my mother and where I was very bored. I really needed adventures, and it soon became an obsession. For several weeks, I tried every night before going to bed, and it depressed me not to be able to do it ”, laments the second year student from Puy-en-Velay. Alice wrote a script in her notebook “Fairly precise” of his upcoming adventures in the wizarding world. She carefully keeps her little text under her pillow, as if to influence her dreams. “I would like to wake up on the Hogwarts Express train. I would then be accepted into the Slytherin house, become friends with George, Hermione and Ginny, and have a beautiful love affair with Cedric Diggory, takes place very seriously, before preventing: It’s not that I try to escape reality, I have friends, I am passionate about judo and horse riding. I simply want to discover a different, distant universe. In my daily life, not much is happening. “

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