Negative News and Why it Sells


Fact: Our brains are hardwired to see and focus on the negative. 


Indeed, if you looked under the hood of our thinking, you’d see a 4 to 1 positive to negative thought ratio for most people.


The question is, “Why is this?”


The answer lies in our evolutionary psychology.


Back when our primitive brains were first being formed, it made sense for us to be on the constant lookout for real, life-threatening events. Saber tooth tigers, warring tribes, and other other environmental factors were true threats to our everyday survival.


Now, however, these immediate and imminent threats have largely passed. The trouble is, our mental programming hasn’t quite yet caught up.


So how does this tie into media manipulation?


First off, we must recognize that news isn’t based on facts. It’s based on ratings.


News reports of positive events, unfortunately, don’t really captivate our attention like negative news does for all the reasons mentioned above.


News networks recognize this fact and manipulate it by offering programming with biased representations of the world that trigger our amygdala (emotional fear center of the brain) and hijack our attention.


Three key words to consider here: captivate (to keep captive), hijack (to take over) and program (coded instructions to control, operate, or automate).


So what’s my point in this rant?


Too much news consumption is really bad for our collective mental health. It can trick us into a state of mistrust, a polarized dichotomy of beliefs, and selfish state of stress and survival, rather than a mindset of abundance and collaboration.


None of this is necessary, healthy, or natural.


So what can we do about it?


Take a break from the tv!!!!!


The average American watches 5 hours of tv per day, let alone other screen-time totals. This isn’t our natural state!


Our natural state is Conversation. Connection. Trust. Togetherness. Unity. Collaboration. Community.


So what can you we do about it?


Turn off the tv. Reach out to your friends and family. Spend time outdoors.


Take the time to be present and enjoy life for all it has to be offer.


Be grateful. Be thankful. Be present.


Stay positive, my friends!


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