“Because war, terrorism, violence, mass shootings, and so on are all around you,” replied Seeker. “They seem worse than ever now because you have twenty-four-hour news channels, which bring you constant examples of violence and barbarism from the most remote corners of the globe. These outlets, with the aid of social media, spread and amplify the bad news much more effectively than the good. Plus, few of you are able to put the current age into historical perspective.”
“Because hope and optimism doesn’t sell nearly as well as pessimism and despair. Your news outlets earn clicks and viewership by sowing alarmism and division. Your social media plays to addictions and creates unprecedented social pressures. You’re wired by evolution to find bad news more motivational than good. To seek it out. “If your ancestors heard the rustle of a friendly breeze far away in the tall grass, and ran away, mistaking the breeze for a lion, this cost them very little. But if they heard the rustle of a lion in the tall grass, and mistook it for a friendly breeze, this would cost them their lives. Seeing potential bad news behind every harmless breeze is a survival instinct.
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