John Green's Method of Visualizing Apples Is Throwing the Internet for a Loop

A popular author presented a scale for how we visualize concept and objects like apples, and it's having people question their own perspectives.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Oct. 2 2023, Published 4:31 p.m. ET

How we visualize apples
Source: Getty Images/Twitter

Picture in your mind ... you picturing something in your mind. Are you simply trying to work off the words you just read or are you actually trying to come up with a visual of yourself as you imagine something? Can you literally see this hypothetical image of your own physical form trying to conjure its own imagination or do you simply accept the idea of yourself in that situation without the actual image in your mind?

OK, since we're getting way too meta, let us explain.

Article continues below advertisement

Folks on the internet have been locked in an interesting conversation about how they visualize concepts using a sliding scale that can determine how far a person can take that image. Using apples as an example, people are figuring out exactly how they tend to visualize things and concepts. The results have been pretty fascinating and are strikingly similar to what you might find in a conversation on internal monologues. Let's break down the topic.

Article continues below advertisement

The internet is breaking down how they "visualize" things like apples.

Best-selling author John Green presented the concept on Twitter to his 4.5 million followers. He shared an image of a person trying to visualize an apple on a scale of 1 to 5.

The scale suggests that if you find yourself at a 1 on the visualization method scale, you're the type of person who has a clear image of an apple whenever you think of an apple. As you go further along in the scale, your visualization shifts, with 5 meaning that you don't necessarily have or need the vivid image of an apple in order to understand the concept of it.

Article continues below advertisement

"It's baffling to me that some of y'all see stuff in your mind," John tweeted along with the picture. "You see it? The way that your eyes see? I always thought 'visualize' meant thinking of the words/ideas/feelings associated with a thing, not actual visuals."

Article continues below advertisement

John then described himself as a "total 5," suggesting that he doesn't necessarily come up with mental images for himself when thinking of something.

Interestingly enough, this very concept has its own page on Know Your Meme. The "apple visualization exercise" first made the rounds on the internet in 2020 before resurfacing again in 2023. This exercise can reportedly be used to determine whether someone has aphantasia, or the inability to create mental imagery.

Article continues below advertisement

And once again, the internet is abuzz with the conversation of what kind of visualization technique they have in their heads. One person on Twitter found it "intriguing" and "cool" that John Green, a renowned fiction writer, was a 5 despite having written several beloved novels. They also claim to be a 1.

Article continues below advertisement

Another person on Twitter claims, "I'm a 5 while awake. My dreams, however, are a 1 [with] full color, texture, and more."

Some folks are even surprised to know that the scale of 1 to 4 even exist, having firmly grown up as 5s.

Article continues below advertisement

On a personal and contrasting note, I've always firmly been a 1. I've always been able to "see" things in my imagination, whether I'm thinking of something as simple as an apple or as complex as a run-in with my high school bullies where I come up with perfect vengeful commentary on whatever they have going on in their lives as adults.

In fact, contrary to most people in the conversation today, I've never realized that there could even be 5s out there in the world, let alone that the state of being a 5 has a medical term. My mind is always displaying images and concepts with full visuals, even sometimes to a fault.

Where do you fall on the scale?

More from Distractify

Latest Trending News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2023 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.