Did you know that American national media is more negative than any other news in the world? In this video/podcast episode Lucas explores the new findings of a media study, and how it affects our state of mind. He also examines Gal 5:22-25 which says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
A study published by Dartmouth College Professor Bruce Sacerdote examined the negativity of news stories in the US and abroad. The study was done during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
87% of stories were negative in USA national news.
51% of stories were negative in international (non-US) media.
53% of stories were negative in US regional/local media.
Why? First, fear drives traffic because of danger aversion.
News media in the US is funded by advertising. They live or die by traffic. They need your eyes and ears to survive.
When you’re watching the news, you’re not the customer, you’re the product. How can you tell if you are the product? See if there are ads. The advertisers are who pay for the news, they are the customer. What's being sold? Your eyes and ears. Advertisers are willing to pay for a piece of your attention. Media outlets are selling. Thus, the media outlet has to do everything it can to keep your eyes and ears engaged. They use fear tactics to do exactly that.
Couple that with the fact that US media is extremely competitive.
People are more, depressed, aggressive, negative.
There is a cost of skewing the public’s worldview toward the bleak. People do more drastic things when they feel desperate. The constant grind of negativity makes people feel despair.
We are not supposed to live in despair, aggression, or negativity. This is how we should live.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal 5:22-25
If you're a Christian, do what you need to do to get off the negativity train. Live in the Spirit, and allow the fruits of the Spirit to grow.