We constantly moan that the news is dominated by negative headlines but have you ever wondered why we love to hear bad news?
Newspapers, TV broadcasters, news apps are all constantly filled with stories of disaster, acts of terror, political corruption. When you read the news, it can often be overwhelming with the amount of depressing headlines but our minds are drawn to the negativity, the fear. Why else would the media focus their efforts on reporting all things bad in life? Where is the good news?
Not only bad things happen in this world, the media just feeds the bad to us – but what does this mean about us as the readers? Our brains home in on the terrible events and we as the audience seem to get a ‘buzz’ from it. It’s not that we necessarily enjoy hearing bad news, but that we are intrigued by it. It catches our attention because it’s not the everyday norm, therefore it interests us. Hearing bad news and hearing good news sparks contrasting emotions, it comes down to which emotion is stronger. Bad news is more exciting and grips us, whereas good news has a less stimulating reaction. As readers we seem to respond to words such as “terror attack”, “cancer”, “devastation” more than the positive words “happy”, “joy”, “fun”. It seems our human mind tends to prioritise negativity over positivity, it increases our alertness and spikes our inquisitive mind. Take a second to think about it, “Puppy stuck in drain rescued” or “Twenty-five dead from car bomb” – which one catches your eye more? The headline about a car bomb instantly grips you, it’s natural empathy, it shocks you yet thrills you at the same time. Whereas the headline about the puppy simply gives a quick thought such as “oh isn’t that nice” and you continue with your day.
We love to hear about the bad in the world; the natural disasters killing thousands and devastating communities, the wide-spread government corruption, the acts of terror on our country’s soil. But why don’t we love to hear about the milestone achievements, amazing charity work or accomplishments in life?
The Effects of Social Media
News stories are broadcasted via social media channels quicker than they are put out on news websites, TV channels and radio stations. These social media posts get shared, retweeted, commented on and liked within a matter of seconds, soon filling the internet with a variety of reactions (generally the bad outweighing the good), soon a Facebook post becomes a forum of people venting their anger. Could this be why journalists continue to pour out the bad news, because of its value? Do journalists report more bad news than good news because it gets them higher ratings? We say we want good news, but is it actually true?
Social media is truly fascinating, the power it holds and influence it has is outstanding, so let’s use it positively! Share your achievements, share your good deeds, share your stories and experiences…because we all love to see it, we just need reminding of the good in the world (you’ll soon be racking up those Facebook likes, don’t you worry). One day the good will outweigh the bad. The question is, whether we know the adequate balance of negativity and positivity?
At Banana Crumble, we love to go bananas (ha ha get it?) for good news stories! Our aim is to brighten your day with happy and exhilarating stories. If you have a good news story you want to share with us, we’d love to hear from you!