Too Much Bad News Is Making Us Apathetic
Wednesday December 12th 2007, 12:23 pm

I have been thinking about writing something in my blog recently but nothing has interested me enough. I used to enjoy reading my daily newspaper from cover to cover every morning, and would often write about items which interested me. I guess you could say that I am bored with the news. I am suffering from news overload. I can understand why some people never read a newspaper. Now I just glance at most of the news stories with little interest. I prefer to read human interest stories, stories about my own community and the weather. I still love weather stories.

This disinterest in what’s going on around me started gradually when I stopped reading about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan about a year ago. I felt that because I couldn’t do anything about our involvement in Afghanistan, or the war in Iraq, that I should ignor it, and hope it would go away. Some would say that is a stupid thing to do because we should support our troops. I do support the troops, but not the war. My apathy started there then spread to stories about crime, specifically youth and drug related crime. I am just tired of so much negative news. I know there is a lot of crime in certain areas, but I don’t want to be reminded every day of these unfortunate events. Most crime seems to be drug related, so if they hurt or kill each other, I don’t care. I believe in being careful and aware of crime and criminals in order not to be a victim, but not paranoid.

There will always be many stories of another corrupt politician or corporate CEO or a youth criminal who will get away with a slap on the wrist. So often we hear that our laws are too lax or there wasn’t enough evidence to convict these criminals. When the general public reads these things, it only results in most of us getting upset and frustrated with our legal system.

We have become desenitized by getting too much negative information. Daily stories of devasting storms, floods, fires, global warming and school shootings have desensitized all but the most caring of us. Most of us think the world is getting worse because we are constantly being bombarded with bad news. There has always been bad things going on, but now we hear more about them. I don’t feel these things shouldn’t be reported but there is only so much we can deal with before it effects us.

There seems to be a general lack of interest and concern with anything which doesn’t effect us directly or someone we know. We aren’t uncaring and unsympathic, but sympathic feelings last only until the next news story comes along, then is forgotten. There is widespread apathy among most of us, which is evidenced by the low voter turn out in most elections, and our distrust of politicians and government.

It is important for us to remember that, for the most part, we hear about the bad news and not the millions of good news stories which occur every day. The news media tends to sensationalize and dwell on negative and not the positive news stories. It would be good to have a balance of the two, but that wouldn’t make it as newsworthy, would it?

Have a great day, and don’t let the news get you down,
Anne