bo burnham in inside

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Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’ causes mass Googling of ‘derealization’

Bo Burnham is in a lot of people's heads.

 

Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Published Jun 8, 2021   Updated Jun 9, 2021, 12:39 pm CDT

Bo Burnham’s stunning new special, Inside, has inspired fan art, cover songs, and a surge in people Googling “derealization.”

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In the song “Funny Feeling,” the only track on which Burnham plays acoustic guitar, is the line: “Total disassociation/Fully out your mind/Googling derealization/Hating what you find.” The song is lined with internet and pop culture references, but is more deeply about our broken internet brains, which is a bigger theme of Inside.

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And viewers apparently did Google derealization. According to Google Trends, the term saw a spike on May 31, the day after the special was released, and then a few more bumps over the course of the last week.

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Derealization is categorized as a symptom of anxiety, and involves feeling detached from your body, speech, or emotions. The term is associated with depersonalization, and according to Psychology Today, “depersonalization refers to the experience of one’s self, whereas derealization refers to the experience of unreality of the world around.”

Burnham has been open, in the special and elsewhere, about suffering from panic attacks and anxiety. And that specific line affected people.

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Relatedly, a lot of people also tweeted about talking to their therapists about Inside. “What’s the established etiquette on asking my therapist to watch the new bo burnham special,” tweeted Sarah Kay.

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*First Published: Jun 8, 2021, 12:07 pm CDT