‘Fight or Flight’ and the Dangers of Consuming All the Bad News in the World

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From ABC Australia: “Over the past decade, humans have been submitting themselves to a vast and disorganised global experiment: what happens when we take a brain and nervous system that’s evolved for running away from cheetahs, and give it a big glowing screen showing all the bad news in the world? […]

‘I think with the advent of the internet our world has become so much bigger than what used to be our local news via TV, radio and newspaper,’ Hack listener Jenna texted us this week. […]

After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, three psychologists looked at what caused more acute stress: being at or near the bombing itself, or being exposed to it in the media.

They found ‘[r]epeated bombing-related media exposure was associated with higher acute stress than was direct exposure.’ Being exposed to the media was more stressful. […]

Consuming all the bad news you can find is not a duty, says Dr Susie Burke, a psychologist who has worked on how negative news can affect us.

‘We don’t want people to switch off from being engaged in world affairs, but just listening to media stories of world events doesn’t actually change them.

It isn’t doing anything about them, it’s not solving them.

There’s no imperative we be plugged in all the time.'”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. My psychologist and psychiatrists believed distress at 9/11/2001 was “a lifelong incurable genetic mental illness,” according to their medical records. How insane can people be? Someone, obviously, needs to educate the “mental health” workers that such insane misdiagnosis behavior is “political abuse of psychiatry.”

    And obviously they do need to be taught that watching “‘[r]epeated bombing-related media exposure was associated with higher acute stress than was direct exposure.’ Being exposed to the media was more stressful. […]”

    I ended up having to turn the main stream news off long ago because of all that “terror, terror, terror.” But now that lots of people are finally figuring out that the news is “fake news,” many are following suit. Which apparently is resulting in the mainstream “fake news” now claiming everyone who does not believe their worldview is “psychotic.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t20rDM30i7A

    “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.”

  2. The internet is affecting us and our society in all kinds of (mostly) negative ways.

    One thing it does is create the illusion that time spent on the internet is time spent “doing something”, when really every internet user is alone behind their device and the “something” they’re doing is manipulating electrons on a digital screen, completely isolated from the world around them.

    It’s a great passifying tool that keeps people alienated from each another and lets our Silicon Valley overlords manipulate us psychology while at the same time controlling the flow of information that we are allowed to access.

    Oh and the NSA keeps an updated record of everything you do on the internet (along with a record of every phone conversation and every financial transaction). With this they can retroactively make a “criminal” or a “national security threat” out of anyone.