The power of negative news

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My fiancé is compulsively checking news. First thing he does when he wakes up, during breakfast, after work, when he wakes up from the nap, when he goes to the toilet, right before he falls asleep… and I think I still haven’t covered all the times that he’s reading news, not to mention that he’s listening to the radio while he works. Sometimes he’s asking me if I heard about this or that, if I am aware what just happened in some far away land (or even my own country) and then he tells me most important news. Most of the time the news is rather with negative content, unless he’s bragging about some Romanians that achieved something (think: tennis for example).
I – in the contrary – don’t read news. Well I go to news websites and choose to read something about once per three days or something. I also listen to the radio. But I try to not focus much on news. I noticed that most of the news is negative. And I decided I don’t want to overload my life with negativity.
When I ask my fiancé why does he read so much news, he says he wants to/has to stay informed about what happens in the world. Yeah, fine. But what if all you can find on the news is sad stories, catastrophes, war etc? I don’t believe that filling your brain with all this has no influence on mood.
The problem is that news websites, radios, tv stations, they all focus on bad news, so we don’t really have a choice what to read. Of course there are some good news included, but still the zoom is put on negative content. Sadly enough there is a reason for this. We observe bad things happen everyday and we can’t ignore them. They happen. But positive things also happen. Why don’t we try to put them on the same level of importance with the negative ones. Why do we put on bold that some leader of Asiatic country produces a bomb, and not some good news for that matter. Lets try to find balance at least.
Other thing is that negative news “click” better or more often than the positive ones. The magic trick is to have a good headline. If you have a strong, powerful, negative title of a story, a lot more readers will check it than a happy story. People will most probably choose to read about a serial killer and misery that he brings to a town, that about happy women who finds out a way to live without both hands. When I try to find the reason for this, I stumble upon my own interest. People like to fear. That is why we watch horror movies. Maybe reading bad, thrilling news has the same effect on us as watching scary films. I don’t know if it works for everyone, but I like horrors. Another idea is that reading about other people’s miseries in life we try to see that our own life is better, if we try to compare. That we don’t really have serious things to worry about, like the others, that we read about. Sort of like compensation for our bad life, seeing that other people have it worse. This is all very sad though. Focusing on other people’s lives so we find something good in ours.
I read an article in some women magazine, about this phenomenon. They gave few options to choose, instead of reading the commonly known news websites, the positive news ones.
Maybe nobody will ever check them. But maybe there are people who have enough of bad news or fake news.
And what do you think about all this? You can always comment.
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2 Comments

  1. When you read all kinds of news even if are bad or good, means to be part of reality. If I will choose all positive news then I will lie myself. I will live in my imaginary sphere. That means that I want to run away from reality. But, sure, we shoud sort all those news and to ignore the junk ones.

    1. Don’t you have a feeling like the world is getting worse when you read the news? Because it’s mostly focusing on bad stuff and it kinda terrifies people. And research says that our world is actually going in a good direction. Sadly enough we aren’t able to see it, just check the main articles on news websites…
      My idea is to not unnecessarily upset people, don’t make bad news look worse than they already are.

      PS. Nice to see you here Alexje!

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