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.
Post lots of selfies on social media? Others may view you more negatively than those who do not post lots of selfies.
Portland has become “ground zero” in the use of street violence against those holding views that others disagree with. Right wing hate groups, like Proud Boys, deliberately come to Portland with a goal of instigating violent uprisings. Portland is ground zero for a movement informally referred to as “Antifa”.
Antifa has no specific ideology but believes in the use of violence (vigilante and mob justice) against anyone they disagree with. While this example was about a right wing hate group, Antifa is all over the map in terms of what they do not like, and then applying violence to those targets. Both groups are filled with angry people, consumed by outrage, and not just inflamed by social media propaganda, but using social media as their platform to encourage more conflict, more outrage and more violence. None of these activities are leading to solutions – they lead only to more violence and more outrage.
Twitter does not represent the views of the people: it represents the views of a very tiny minority of angry and miserable people (most tweets come from about 2% of the population, a group that seems to very outraged and angry). There is a word for this: it’s miserablism, or the philosophy of pessimism and the enjoyment of being miserable.
Instagram experimenting with hiding post likes from public view, thinking it will be easier on users’ mental health.