Chat Now!   Member Gallery    Member Articles    Games   Member Groups   Member Blogs   Health News    Bored?

Author Topic: Does internet news foster anxiety-producing habits of thinking?  (Read 198 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Egg

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Rec's: 2
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
I was scanning the headlines on the internet today, and a thought occurred to me:  does the internet itself, as it is today, foster anxiety-producing patterns of thought?

I saw headlines like, "Three Mistakes You're Probably Making..." and "Don't Miss These Three Key Signs of X Disease!" and "Don't Touch This Button on Your iPhone or Apple Will Delete All Your Contacts" (that last one is word for word).  To say nothing of the ads!

I know sensationalism has always been a big part of the news, but I really think the level of alarmism has increased -- and there is a new attempt to personalize every story by framing it in the second person.

I am not a Googler of symptoms -- so while I know ads and headlines are geared toward what we've searched for in the past, I am not searching for disease symptoms.  I can only imagine what would rise to the top of my news feed if I were doing this!

I really enjoy reading the internet for news -- but I am going to take a break from these news sites, simply because they foster habits of thinking that, in me, foster anxiety.

I'll probably continue with the sites that are useful and productive for me, but for now -- no more news.

Does anyone else notice this?  Do you think this is possibly contributing to your anxiety?
Bookmark and Share

Offline ColdHands

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 6
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Relaxed
    Relaxed
  • Warm heart, strong mind, struggling liver
    • Poke This Member
Re: Does internet news foster anxiety-producing habits of thinking?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 03:36:55 PM »
It isn't just internet news, its ALL news that does this.  The 24 cable news cycle is just crazy.  They invent news to have something to say.  They have to fill 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so they have to create stuff in some instances just to get ratings.

So, yes, I think all news, and the instant way we receive information is anxiety provoking.  I try to think back when I was a kid and we only got like 10 channels and had to wait for the news at 5 pm or 11, if we left the house people had to call back (we didn't even have an answering machine then).  Now if I can't get ahold of my father on two tries, I start to freak out.  Back then, you could be gone for a week and nobody could contact you. 

A happy medium with this is ok, but I think the fact that everything and everyone is accessible is just crazy.
Bookmark and Share
"There is just one more thing that bothers me."  Columbo

Offline Egg

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Rec's: 2
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Does internet news foster anxiety-producing habits of thinking?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2014, 04:35:49 PM »
What struck me was that the headlines were perfect examples of the kinds of thoughts that CBT teaches you to recognize as anxiety-producing.

And I agree, Coldhands, that it's almost all news these days ... But I can more easily dismiss cheesy TV news than the internet for some reason.
Bookmark and Share

Offline shaula

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 46
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Thoughtful
    Thoughtful
  • It's a new day.
    • Poke This Member
Re: Does internet news foster anxiety-producing habits of thinking?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2014, 05:23:16 PM »
I was just talking to someone about this the other day! I used to work in journalism, which is a business all about getting people to look at your stories. Unfortunately, human beings have a sort of morbid curiosity: bad news, i.e. scandals, murders, assaults, grand theft auto....that stuff sells. Good news doesn't bring hits. Also, in advertisement, you have to generate some sort of emotion to get people to buy your products. What better way than to generate anxiety? People do not want to feel embarassed, lost, scared: so advertisements are made just to say, "without this nice thing, you are lame" or "you will die without this thing!"

There is a lot of debate as to whether or not this is ethical behavior or not, but it is most certainly a thing we have to live with. I don't even watch the news anymore...I skim through stories to keep caught up, but news sites kinda depress me.
Bookmark and Share
Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end.

Hold on if you feel like letting go.

Offline Lindsay2427

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 579
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Worried
    Worried
    • Poke This Member
Re: Does internet news foster anxiety-producing habits of thinking?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 05:46:37 PM »
Social media really fuels my anxiety and I'm highly considering deleting my ***** because it seems like everyday there is another share or news feeds post about some child or young person battling the C word. I have severe C word anxiety so seeing those posts or pages really is a trigger. I can't even read some posts here with out going into a huge HA breakdown. 
Bookmark and Share

Offline Egg

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Rec's: 2
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Does internet news foster anxiety-producing habits of thinking?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2014, 07:50:43 AM »
Social media can be tough, too.  Some people have to share inspiring stories of people battling various illnesses, which can be terrifying for HA sufferers.

It is hard to avoid triggers.  I was at a work function yesterday and heard two unrelated stories about the two diseases I fear most.  What usually happens to me is that I'm fine in the short term, but these stories will haunt me months or even years later.  I spent some time yesterday reminding myself out loud that these people's health has nothing to do with mine, and praying for their health and strength.

My therapist would say that of course, the ultimate goal is to become desensitized to these triggers -- but IME getting to that point takes a lot of work, and I personally am not there yet (though I am working and trying)!

Shaula, I found your post very interesting.  I do think it is an ethical issue for journalists ... and I think it devalues the work of good reporters to have a ridiculous headline slapped over good work.  At any rate, I am doing my part by no longer patronizing the news sites that are the worst offenders!
Bookmark and Share

Offline tinam7

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2689
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 76
  • Gender: Female
    • Poke This Member
Re: Does internet news foster anxiety-producing habits of thinking?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 08:30:41 AM »
Thank you for this thread and the observations. If I had any brain or courage I would take the so-called "advances" and rip them apart. What they are doing to us has yet to fully reveal itself. But, in my view, there is little for the betterment of us as human beings, except for a site like this. I thought ***** was a gossip mill, or worse, right from the start.

It takes enormous discipline and will power to resist all that's thrown at us. Salaciousness, sensationalism, vulgarity, etc. right alongside the big smiles with bleached teeth, everyone happy happy or going off the deep end in varying degrees. How do we protect ourselves? Sorry if this sounds over the top, but it has been festering for some time.
Bookmark and Share

Offline ColdHands

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 6
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Relaxed
    Relaxed
  • Warm heart, strong mind, struggling liver
    • Poke This Member
Re: Does internet news foster anxiety-producing habits of thinking?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2014, 12:38:36 PM »
This used to be called yellow journalism and for good reason.    I don't even have upper cable news anymore.  Its all variations of the same exaggerated crap. 

Bookmark and Share
"There is just one more thing that bothers me."  Columbo

Offline Sleepingbear

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Does internet news foster anxiety-producing habits of thinking?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 03:14:26 PM »
A resounding "YES."  Was just having this discussion with someone the other day.  Who knows what to think about anything nowadays.  A friend of mine said, "be reasonably informed and then go with one source."  In my friends case, he said he takes his doctor's recommendations and rather that Googling it, he decided to trust this information provifpded by physician who he has had a good relationship with for awhile.  "Or I'd go crazy with everything out there." 
Bookmark and Share

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
1666 Views
Last post June 22, 2007, 07:25:52 PM
by apple
6 Replies
2138 Views
Last post June 23, 2007, 02:56:33 PM
by retrogurl88
9 Replies
2342 Views
Last post September 17, 2008, 08:15:51 AM
by Cercy
3 Replies
2446 Views
Last post June 13, 2010, 04:31:00 PM
by twinkletoes
6 Replies
850 Views
Last post April 13, 2011, 05:06:15 PM
by naynaydevil2

anything