Human Nature and the News Media
In a new world of instant access to information, it is only natural that we will encounter changes and challenges in our quest for news. But we must ask ourselves to what extent our best interests served by days and days of 24 hours of media speculation surrounding terrorism, mass shootings, royal weddings, or political debates? I will admit that as a society we do seem to be fascinated by the fortunes – be they good or bad – of others. But, in the name of “news”, is it justified to sensationalize events beyond their factional value if only transient entertainment value predominates? Is the information available truly newsworthy, or is it presented in an effort to manipulate our vulnerability to their hype? Are we truly enhancing our existence or only being distracted from meaningful work which would be better served by our attention?
It seems as if it is in our nature to remain transfixed by spectacle, much like a child watching a continuous video of a bulldozer moving dirt. The difference is, as adults we have better developed prefrontal cortex which can be used to supply us with judgement, if we only think to use it—for a change.