Why are we attracted to Bad News and Carnage
Go into any store selling newspapers and have a look at the rack. What do you see on the front pages? Bad news. Nothing but bad news!!! I came up with the question of why are we attracted to bad news when I was visiting London in February of 2020. Yep, the Coronavirus was starting to pick up and there I was checking my phone from when I woke up to when I went to bed. Check out my blog "Corona Anxiety". What was I looking for? All the news that came up across every media there was, was BAD news. Not a speck of anything good. Sure, it's not a great situation, right now, it will get better and we will win. But at the point that I kept opening my phone to the media....nothing but bad! Then, I said to my Mum one night right before the news came on, "Watch how things are emphasized" "How words are used" And sure enough, what's the thing that came out the loudest. The death rates. Through all my anxiety I was posting to a mate of mine things I was finding. He is the optimistic one out of us. Then he sent me a page that told of the thousands that had got through it. He also said "Think about how many have it compared to the population. Yeah as a percentage it was very very small. Then I am hearing how older people were getting through it, not something the media were reporting. Also, people with underlying problems getting through. Even a 103-year-old in China got through in 9 days. Not the only older person either I have heard of. Sure, I get it, there is a bigger risk factor with Older folks and having underlying conditions. But my point is, why is the media not reporting this. On the news for instance. We want to hear good stories. It sends hope to us out here. The way I was seeing it reading, watching and listening to the media was, We are all doomed!!!!! What does that do to a population of 7.5 billion....PANIC!!!! NEW people with Mental health, and chaos across the world. Now I'm not saying not to check the news. It's a good idea to check. BUT....if this is what you are doing all day long then this is not going to be doing your mental health any good. It will increase your anxiety/depression. Limit what you look at. choose a media that's not one-sided. Limit how much you watch and read and stick to that. SO once I had come up with the question of why are we attracted to Carnage and bad news, I thought, it's not just started happening. This is nothing new. We as a human species are really attracted to this. Car accident what is everybody doing? Slowing down to take a look. Why? What ya hoping to see? A dead body? Take them newspaper front pages. If you put two side by side and put on one good news, "Mike finds coins worth thousands" and on the other "Terrorist attack in broad daylight" which paper would you think gets picked up and bought? Put money the attraction will be the bad news. How about if an argument kicks off in the street? Or a fight? People stand and watch. Heck, now they pull the camera out. Take pic or videos and post to other media sources. What is it we are wanting to see? How about sport. I like contact sport. I played rugby for a bit when I was younger. But when we watch say Boxing or MMA and a guy gets cut or blood start coming from somewhere all of a sudden that fight became a better fight, right? We are attracted to the carnage. I remember a few weeks ago I heard bare-knuckle fights had been made legal and there are matches on YouTube. I immediately sent it to friends with an exciting..."Look at this"!! As if the fighting with gloves on wasn't enough. We even meet a friend or speak on the phone to a family member and what's the topic? bad news. Either talking about what somebody did or what's been seen on the news. Etc. There was an experiment done. A button was given to participants and pictures shown to them. The time was recorded for the response to hit the button. Bad pics had a quicker response than the good ones. Why oh why are we attracted to this? Well, of cause this is all my opinions and mine alone, but I have done some reading and here is what I have come up with. First off its the way the brain is designed. Our wonderful computer inside our skull is there to protect us. It picks out bad things that could be harmful and sends that info where it needs to go to protect us. Our body chemistry reacts to what we see. In fact, it's not what we see, it's our brain's interpretation of what it sees. I always remember if my Mum see blood on her kids she would run. But me Dad would say, "It's only a bit of blood". Two different perspectives of the same situation. I think we also see carnage as a bigger stimulator for entertainment. Or do we think that the world is actually better than what it really is? So bad news cropping up sounds louder? I know one thing, we definitely are attracted to bad news more than good and it's not doing us any good. Especially if you already have a mental health issue. So let's face it....if the negative press and stories get the biggest audience then the media outlets will keep that coming in loud and clear over good news. Why? IT SELLS!
Here are a few good news areas.