I’ve often heard people ask why news programs only share the terrible problems of the world. Even in years long ago when we only had nightly news at six and ten, they reported bad events happening locally and internationally.
I and many others have wondered, why don’t they report when things are going well? Like when the U.S. economy was booming before the virus strike? Or when there were peace deals being signed across the world?
During the virus lockdown of 2020, confined to our homes, everyone could’ve used some good news. Instead, we kept getting beat over the head with virus statistics. The media exaggerated and exasperated division among citizens of the world. Everywhere around social media people were wishing for 2020 to be over.
Even some celebrities were tired of all the bad news. Two of them did something about it. Kevin James from King of Queens & Paul Blart: Mall Cop started a youtube channel with short comedy bits. John Krasinski, who played Jim Halpert from The Office, started a channel from his home titled, Some Good News.
If they can show us good news, why can’t the news show us good news?
One of the blogs I follow, Be Inspired, finally answered that question for me in her post, Why Your Brain Focuses on Negative. She taught me something that hadn’t occurred to me before, but it makes perfect sense.
Neurologically, our human brains are pre-wired to react more strongly to negativity than positivity. Which means our reactions are more emotional over negative occurrences than positive ones.
The answer to why media shows us only bad news is because they capitalize on our natural human reaction to negativity. Their relentless scare tactics didn’t end in the year 2020. Now we have volatile political division, inflation, high gas prices, a war in eastern Europe, food shortages in many countries, covid continuing to spread, Monkey Pox, and even one new case of Polio in the U.S.!
Not to mention, television media airs gruesome violent scenes to tweak our emotions further. Who cares how badly the news hurts humanity and splits us apart, right? They exploit emotions for gain, much of the time using hyperbole to drive it home. Tsk. Tsk.
TV news ratings are at an all-time low right now, and yet they still work to exploit our emotions. Why? It almost seems like there’s an ulterior motive. 🤔
The good news is, according to the article I cited above, our brains can be RE-wired. We can train our brains to feel the stronger emotion for positivity.
This story explained a lot for me. I’m not as pessimistic as I’ve been starting to believe. I do try to focus on positive things, but there is always a negative story around every corner. My natural emotional response is founded on science.
It also explained why the world is so angry right now, with 24-7 of relentless bad news.
I refuse to let the media win. I’m going to re-train my brain on positivity. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone re-wired their brains for stronger emotional responses to positivity? Maybe all forms of media would then have to change their stories.