A professor of atmospheric sciences weighs in on the exaggerated, hyperbolic click-bait inducing media news stories and the negative impact they are having on mental health as many suffer severe climate anxiety. Many such stories are not merely exaggerated but false, which has led to the bizarre situation where a majority of younger voters in the U.S. believe humanity will be extinct within ten years. There is no scientific justification for these beliefs, illustrating how climate communications has gone off the rails.
I never knew – according to journalists we are expected to argue about inequality and victimization at the Thanksgiving holiday. Journalists have even prepared a handy guide detailing how to support the journalists’ own agenda! Who knew (besides journalists) that we are supposed to turn Thanksgiving into an opportunity for propaganda messaging?
Updated: Apparently this entire genre is a coordinated pseudo-news event intended to be shared on social media and get around Facebook’s algorithms that try to limit some news article distribution. It’s based on the pseudo-news event approach of creating a fake “us versus them” narrative. It is, in fact, 21st century click-bait and nothing more.
Recycling an old opinion column by an author who focuses on persuading you that life is miserable, not fair and getting worse – is an interesting twist on propaganda. The date – its old -is not presented until a footnote at the very end of the very long column; the column was written during the recovery from The Great Recession, immediately after significant economic turmoil. This is the media’s usual focus on negativity by an author who makes his living on negativity.
School districts are subscribing to Gaggle, a service that provides total surveillance of students, scanning their email, their Microsoft Office 365 documents, their photos – even their social media accounts. Software analyzes their text and attempts (with a high false positive rate) to determine misbehavior, threatening behavior or suicidal tendencies. Regardless every thing students do is placed under constant 24×7 electronic surveillance.
On the anxiety inducements of social media and smart phones: “We must be cursed, one would think, to spend so much of our day walking around with our eyes glued to a device that provokes bad feelings.” Ironically, the essay writer ends with two lengthy paragraphs of doom, gloom and negativity and wonders why everyone is gloomy?
I am so old I remember that just yesterday the media said it was wrong and hurtful for adults to question the background of a 16 year old… talk about inconsistency!
Young man in his 20s raises $1 million for charity. Local paper then exposes him for having made two – yes two – offensive tweets when he was 16, shutting down his charitable fund raising for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Meanwhile, the reporter who wrote the story made far more offensive comments on Twitter. But that’s okay, because he’s an important holier-than-thou reporter. Or something. The larger question: Why did the Des Moines Register feel compelled to turn a positive story into a negative story? Because negativity is the main focus of today’s media.
51% of voters under 35 believe human life may be wiped out on earth with in 10 years. This assertion is not supported by any scientific evidence but is a fear created out of thin air by lying, exaggeration, hyperbole by politicians, activists and media propagandists. The result is an induced epidemic of mass anxiety with many now requiring medical care.
News focused on the negative, is overly dramatic, leads us to false conclusions about the world and is largely pointless speculation, fear and dlick-bait headlines designed primarily to attract eyeballs to advertisers. News is also largely a waste of our time, says Psychology Today.
No kidding: “America and its young people live in an age of near-constant bad news. OregonLive, like other news websites, is replete with headlines that stoke young people’s existential fears: stories highlighting climate change, mass shootings, political hate and the like.”
We actually live in the best of times with plummeting global poverty and illiteracy rates, rising incomes and middle income lifestyles that exceed the super wealthy of just 100 years ago. In the U.S., crime, including violent crime, is in a long term declining trend. But you probably do not know this because of the media’s focus on gloom and doom.
News and social media are literally killing our youth via increasing suicide rates as they are flooded with unnecessary fear mongering. The constant negativity is damaging – yet the media will continue down this path even while acknowledging their own role.