In an article by Rolf Dobelli of The Guardian, fascinating research is discussed which reveals a darker side to news that Stephen Harper’s attack ads or constant reporting of crime despite dramatic reductions in crime.
Describing news as “candy for the brain,” Dobelli exposes the dangers of the addiction many of us ‘news junkies’ know all to well. It is a very good read.
“We are not rational enough to be exposed to the press.”[excerpt] In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets. But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don’t really concern our lives and don’t require thinking. That’s why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.