Stoicism: Why is it so Popular?

I heard about Stoicism way back in 2017. Their community is already big but not as big as today, where I see some exponential growth of people following the philosophy. Stoicism is about feeling empowered in your life and the things we should care about to be happy. This made it a popular philosophy among the younger generation. But why is Stoicism so popular nowadays? Let’s find out.

Stoicism is so popular nowadays because its philosophy is very timely. For one, we live in a generation where there are a lot of things outside our control. Another reason is that Stoicism focuses on the rational side of things which attracts thinkers in our age.

In this blog post, we are going to talk about why Stoicism is popular. Then, we will see some reasons I find why I see an exponential growth of Stoicism. Lastly, we will see the data I gathered on the exponential growth Stoicism community online.

Why is Stoicism so popular?

Why is Stoicism so popular?

Stoicism is so popular because of its timeliness. What makes Stoicism appealing is its focus on dealing with the things we can’t control, which are a lot in the modern era. Furthermore, learning Stoicism benefitted with the rising popularity of the internet, with many influencers teaching the said philosophy for free.

Here, I have some reasons why Stoicism became so popular.

1. Learning about Stoicism is Free

One of the things that made Stoicism famous is that its learning materials are almost entirely free.

There are numerous websites and videos online teaching about the philosophy that is free.

Free Stoic courses and resources are available online for anybody who wants to learn about philosophy.

Because of this, money is not a hindrance to learning about Stoicism.

2. Stoicism is Very Timely

When Stoicism was made in 300 BCE, Ancient Greece was in turmoil with their states falling.

At that time, everything seemed to be changing, which caused a lot of stress to people.

What caused this is helplessness. People felt like everything was changing, and they couldn’t do something about it.

Due to this, Stoicism emerged with the teaching on the dichotomy of control.

To give a short preview, it simply states that we shouldn’t mind the things outside our control because it causes only stress.

The amount of things we can’t control has increased through the years. We hear about news on the other side of the globe, and some might feel helpless about these things.

For example, we might feel helpless about global warming or poverty.

Furthermore, we might also feel helpless on social media with people we don’t know commenting on our photos.

Right now, people feel that many things are outside their control, and they’re stressed about them.

Enter Stoicism which gave some insights on how to deal with these hardships.

If you want to learn about how Stoics deal with pain, here is my other blog post talking about the topic: Do Stoics Feel Pain?

3. The Internet Helped Stoicism Spread Fast

Stoicism is one of the Philosophies that used the internet to gain popularity.

Since the internet-connected billions of people, Stoicism got a massive boost from the internet.

In fact, a lot of people would probably learn about Stoicism from the internet.

Since the internet spread throughout the world, philosophy spread with it.

To give some perspective on the effect of the internet, Modern Stoicism started at the end of the 20th century.

However, Stoicism only got some attention recently due to online communities.

4. Influencers Teaching the Philosophy

Right now, there are lots of self-help influencers who swear by the benefits of Stoicism in their daily lives.

They say how Stoicism helped them deal with stress, and they teach philosophy online for free.

In fact, the majority of self-help influencers teach some sort of Stoic philosophy.

Although not all of them are Stoic, they sometimes borrow some Stoic philosophies in dealing with life.

5. Stoicism has Real-world Applications

One of the popular applications of Stoicism is Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT.

CBT is now being used as a therapy for depression and numerous types of mental illness.

A 2012 study found that CBT has a response rate of 38% for obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD), 82% for body dysmorphic disorder, 77% on panic disorder, 66-69% on anger and depression, and many more.

Here is the data provided by the research.

DisorderCBT Response Rate
Borderline Personality Disorder82%
Panic disorder77%
Anger/Aggression66–69%
Depression51–87%
Childhood Anxiety56%
Chronic Fatigue50%
Personality Disorders47%
Generalized Anxiety Disorder46%
Chronic Fatigue40%
Bulimia Nervosa40–44%
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder38-50%
Response Rate of CBT to Numerous Mental Disorders. Data gathered from a Study: “The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses.”

6. Stoicism’s Approach is Very Rational

One of the reasons why Stoicism is famous to the younger generation is because of its rational approach to handling our problems.

Rather than relying on emotions or things unexplained by science, Stoicism answers our questions based on rational thinking.

Many people are now looking for logical proof of their beliefs. But, as we’ve seen earlier, the principles of Stoicism are being used by professionals because they work.

Due to these reasons, Stoicism is gathering popularity worldwide.

In the next section, I have gathered some data on the growth of the online Stoicism community.

Is Stoicism gaining popularity?

Stoicism is gaining popularity every day now, having about half a million online followers. It started receiving some attention in 2012 on the first Annual Stoic Week, where international media covered the event. Another reason for Stoicism getting popular with people is that its philosophy is very timely to our generation.

I like taking things to the next level.

We already know that Stoicism is gaining popularity, and it started in 2012.

But how much is the growth?

In 2012, the Stoicism community only had 840 members. However, in November of 2021, the Stoicism community had 423,000 members.

Due to the rise of the internet and the reasons I gave above, Stoicism received a lot of reactions, and their community is growing strong.

To show their growth, I researched the Wayback machine to get their number of members since 2012.

Here is the line graph showing their growth.

Line Graph on the growth of the Stoicism Online Community
Line Graph on the exponential increase of the Stoicism Online Community

Here is the data I gathered to make the graph.

DateNumber of Followers
Apr 2012840
Oct 20122,390
Mar 20134,200
Jun 20135,200
Feb 20149,300
Jun 201412,239
Jan 201518,800
Dec 201528,500
Feb 201628,600
Oct 201636,800
Mar 201744,600
Apr 201882,000
Aug 201882,600
Nov 2018116,000
Feb 2019129,000
Jul 2019160,000
Nov 2019216,000
Feb 2020238,000
Jul 2020308,000
Nov 2020347,000
Feb 2021375,000
Jul 2021405,000
Nov 2021423,000
Data on the increasing members of Stoicism online

As we can see from the data, Stoicism is not just gaining popularity but is gaining popularity at an exponential rate.

This is thanks to the internet’s power, which leads to many people hearing about the philosophy.

When did Stoicism become popular?

Stoicism became popular worldwide in November 2012 due to the first Annual Stoic Week. The reason for its popularity is that international media covered the event, which made many people aware of the said philosophy. After that, the online community following Stoicism grew day by day.

First of all, we shouldn’t interchange Modern Stoicism with Neostoicism.

What we experience right now is Modern Stoicism which started at the end of the 20th century.

While Neostoicism is a movement that started in the 16th century.

If we look at it, Modern Stoicism is the 5th generation of Stoicism. That’s why you will see some say that it’s Stoicism version 5, while some say it’s Stoicism 5.0.

To give a brief insight, here are the versions of Stoicism.

  1. Early Stoa – 300 BCE
  2. Middle Stoa – 175 BCE
  3. Late Stoa – 50 AD
  4. Neo Stoicism – 16th Century
  5. Modern Stoicism – 20th Century

I made a separate blog post talking about the brief history of Stoicism here: Are they Stoics in the Modern Era?

Right now, we will answer when did Stoicism become popular.

The answer is that it started to grow after the 2012 annual stoic week, which was covered by media worldwide.

After that, it gained popularity among bloggers and vloggers, which became one of the popular topics in the self-improvement niche.

It is also good to note that Stoicism became popular due to its timeliness, with people having a lot of things in life they can’t control.

Stoicism teaches how to feel calm and relaxed despite the things we can’t control, and we currently live in a world where we know many things we can’t control.

For example, we can hear news on the other side of the globe in a few seconds, which is not possible in previous times. Furthermore, we get comments from people we don’t know because of the internet.

All of these are things we can’t control. Because of this, something is needed to keep us calm and cope up with a fast-paced world.

This is where Stoicism helped people. In fact, Stoicism was originally made during hard times in which people couldn’t control many things.

When Stoicism was made, Greece city-states fell, and people felt like the world was not stable. This made people think that everything is in chaos which most can’t control.

Same as today with news everywhere and people are commenting on little things about us. Some comments are things people won’t tell you face to face, but they can now tell you mean things because of the internet.

Due to these things, Stoicism became a popular choice. It slowly gained fame and popularity, and it is a community growing even to this day.

What’s next? We talked about how Stoicism is timely to our generation. But how can Stoicism make us feel less helpless? How can Stoic philosophy make us happier? You will find the answer in a separate blog post. Here is the link: Can Stoics be Happy?

Only the things I love.

ongjason.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the site, I earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re following me, you’ll know that I believe it is essential to have some tools, whether it’s for personal development or lifestyle in general.

So, here are the things I love.

YouTube

If you want to learn things for free, then I recommend you to watch my YouTube Channel. Click the Button Below to go straight into my Channel. 🙂

Okay, let me first explain my Channel.

I believe that I really can’t explain everything too well on my blog. That’s why I created a YouTube Channel so I can easily explain a lot of things. Plus, I believe that Video Sharing is the future.

Recommended Books

The next thing is books. Books are, for me, one of the cheapest ways to get invaluable information. We can learn personal development, finance, career, relationships, and many more from books.

Here, I will be listing my favorite books in different categories.

  1. For Beginners7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Personal development has a lot of concepts and ideas to learn. Thus it can be really hard for beginners to know where to start. Thus, I recommend this book since all the basic concepts of personal development are here(except finance, check what I recommended for that)
  2. ProductivityThe One Thing by Gary Keller – This book teaches us the power of focusing on one thing which is the ultimate source of productivity. The concepts taught are what I am using to constantly publish YouTube videos while maintaining this website.
  3. Busy?Make Time by Jack Knapp – This book teaches us how to make time for the things we love. The concept is really simple but I think that makes it a book worth reading.
  4. HealthLifespan by Dr.Sinclair – This Book teaches about the latest scientific research on lifespan. In his book, he has shared numerous things he is doing to slow down his aging process. This can be as easy as eating less which he recommends.
  5. FinanceThe Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason – Perhaps one of the first books I’ve read about Finance, this book for me is the best if we are talking about learning basic finance such as basic saving and investing. The concepts are very simple but effective.

Audiobooks

Take this advice as a grain of salt.

I don’t recommend buying Audiobooks one by one. I mean, audiobooks can be quickly finished by listening while working out or doing some mindless tasks.

So here is to save you some money. Just go for a monthly subscription to Audible. I believe that you will save a lot of money with that plus, they usually give freebies to anyone starting.

My Audiobook Recommendation will always be the same as my book recommendations, but I personally like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I like how she is so casual while reading her book.

Source:

Hofmann, Stefan G., et al. “The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-Analyses.Cognitive Therapy and Research, vol. 36, no. 5, 2012, pp. 427–40. Crossref, doi:10.1007/s10608-012-9476-1.

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