Like many folks, I constantly monitor the news like a hawk throughout the day. I am just one of those people who would be a complete nervous wreck if I got stuck on some deserted island without some source of media. If not watching the news on television, I stay tuned while listening to my car radio or checking my smartphone or logging onto my computer at home. I just HAVE to know what is going on both locally, nationally or worldwide. Lately I have noticed a trend in the news and it is not good. The stories have gotten more and more negative, probably more so in my lifetime. I don’t know if it is just a case of my imagination, maybe others feel the same way, but the news stories have gotten more and more graphic and disturbing.
A classic example occurred just a few days. A disturbed young man shot and killed one of his classmates in his school cafeteria and wounded a few others. It happened on a Friday afternoon, just before the start of the weekend. The major news cable networks were all over the story with breaking news about some kind of shooting. I had just come home and was in a great mood since the weekend started for me. Suddenly, my mood shifted nearly 180 degrees. Several years ago, news of school violence was very rare and far between. After Columbine, that all changed. There have been multiple school shooting incidents in the last 10 years with no end in sight. Who can forget the Newtown story where several young children lost their lives just a few weeks before Christmas? That tragic event put a damper on many people’s holidays.
There are very few evening news broadcasts that go without some mention of Ebola. It has dominated the news headlines for the past month. In my opinion, Ebola might be one of the most over-hyped news stories of this year. Anytime some individual is taking to the hospital with symptoms of the disease, the news networks are all over it like a cheap suit. Their fear mongering of the issue has reached new levels. Is it really necessary to have multiple hours of coverage after somebody has contracted the disease? There is only so much Ebola talk that I can stomach before I get sick!
We have seen some very disturbing stories of terrorism in Canada and a few incidents here in the United States. When was the last time you heard of someone getting beheaded at work in this country? Unbelievable!! There is no question in mind that there might be many of those dreaded ISIS terrorist already in the country. Random terrorist attacks might become a normal occurrence in this country. To be honest with you, I feel less safe living in this country than ever in my life. Much like Ebola, there are very few days when the t words does not become the main focus of a news show. We are seeing more and more stories about these random acts of violence which may lead up to some larger scale story in the very near future.
Sometimes the news becomes almost unbearable to watch so I turn on the sports for a little escape. However, the sports world has been a big part of the negative news as well with all the scandals concerning coaches, players, political correctness and several off the field incidents. Sadly, we have certain individuals like the Bob Costa’s of the world who use their position to lecture us on public policy and social issues. I just want to hear the commentator’s opinion of the game, not his stance on gun control.
There are certainly many good news stories to feature but let’s be real, they are too boring. People love dramatic stuff like terrorist acts. There are many people out there who are making this world a much better place to live. Their stories are often shoved under the rug so that we can here about some crazy radical terrorist and their awful plans for mankind.
Any good mental health doctor would be wise to recommend lower doses of daily news monitoring to his patients. The news of today can definitely be hazardous to one’s state of mental health. The way some of the news outlets cover those negative stories, it is like the world is going to end. There is only so much one can watch before it becomes totally unbearable. There are only so many stories that I can take about ISIS, Ebola, Ferguson, the many White House scandals or another school shooting. If you sit around and watch Fox News or CNN all day, you might lose all sense of what good is still in this world. We definitely need a greater amount of positive news stories to help digest the ever-increasing negative news of today’s world. The sky is not falling as fast as some in the media would want you to think.