GRZEXP Staff – Daniel Garcia
The news is something a part of daily life at least in the United States, but is too much news thrown at your face a bad thing? During a global pandemic that has changed our way of life, it is extremely difficult to avoid news all together. But the excessive consumption of the news is terrible for mental health, the news you read might be false, biased, or even worse bad for you mental health
To start out, fake news has been something that was possible for a long time but didn’t go in full force until in the 2010’s, when social media was incredibly accessible to the public. Social media and news websites can misinform the public anytime, any way they want, and can get an idea out into the public. Most major news outlets like the New York Times and The Washington Post rarely do this but other sources do. As an example in 2016 when false news about Donald Trump were shared millions of times, according to Stanford.edu, “Fabricated stories favoring Donald Trump were shared a total of 30 million times, nearly quadruple the number of pro-Hillary Clinton shares leading up to the election, according to Stanford economist Matthew Gentzkow.” This shows how fake news can go viral at any time by any person. Fake news while simple, is extremely dangerous to the public. Another example in 2013 when a false tweet stating that president Barack Obama had been injured in the White House, According to the Washington Post, “A fake tweet about an attack on the White House briefly roiled the financial markets on Tuesday afternoon, sending stocks tumbling within minutes and prompting the FBI and securities regulators to look into the hacking incident.” Because of a false tweet, stocks went down and the FBI had to intervene because of it. This is the worst thing a news website could be, false and misleading
Bias news, unlike fake news, is typically more common. When the news is supposed to be unbiased and report the facts it is extremely frustrating to see this happen. When the news integrates their opinion in a situation it comes off as trying to paint a good light on one person and a bad light on another. Cable news channels like Fox have been accused of being biased by several democratic leaders. This isn’t me or you this is being felt by most Americans, according to a poll in 2014 that stated, “After registering slightly higher trust last year, Americans’ confidence in the media’s ability to report “the news fully, accurately, and fairly” has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%.” But still newspapers like the New York Times are reality credible with their factual reporting.
Last but definitely not least is that watching too much news could be bad for mental health and for your mood. In a pandemic or a recent natural disaster it is indeed hard to avoid the news, but there are many effective ways to achieve balance between watching the news and not being in a horrible mood. If you haven’t been paying attention to most news, they love to report upsetting news or rage inducing news more than news that makes you cheerful. Most outlets would love to report news that makes you feel outraged because it madness makes you share the story, the more the story gets shared the more attention that article gets, therefore more ad revenue from the website. According to the site very well mind it says, “Consuming the news can activate the sympathetic nervous system, which causes your body to release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.This emotional toll and negative effect on the psyche was demonstrated in a study that found people who watched negative material, as compared to those who watched positive or neutral material, showed an increase in both anxious and sad moods only after 14-minutes of viewing television news bulletins and programs” This directly proves how the news affects you mentally in negative ways and why it’s horrible to excessively watch the news.
The reason why the news is sometimes terrible is because in many cases the media lies about the information, is sometimes very biased in subtle ways, and too much of it could affect you negatively. Some sources like the New York Times are very helpful and actually report the news, but others like Fox News or CNN not so much. It’s totally fine if you like Fox or CNN but the incidents of bias totally ruin the channels for me. In general the news is awful for you if you don’t look at the right websites and consume too much of it.
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