“Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses.”
- Tracy Morgan -
So I bought a composition book last week to take along with me when I visit with hospice clients. And while they sleep or prefer to have quiet time, I jot down the random thoughts that run through my brain. It’s amazing how many of them there are. But I am an introvert, after all, so it does make sense. The brain working overtime and all that.
(Oh, did I forget to mention that I volunteer with the local hospice organization? I do, but that’s a story for another time.)
Anyhow, I was substituting for another volunteer yesterday afternoon and the television was on at the client’s house where I was visiting. At one point the news came on and, as always and forever, it was the same old depressing stuff. And then this thought popped into my head, which I jotted down:
“Why is there always so much bad news thrown at us? Is the media guilty of providing it? Or are we guilty of demanding/encouraging it?”
I get the feeling that if we stopped being bad news junkies, you’d hear about the good stuff a little more often. Because it’s not all gloom and doom. There are a lot of good things happening around the world and there are a lot of great people doing great things. I don’t know about you but I sure could use a little more good news.
Anne Murray says it best in the song below. (Oh my goodness, it’s a gazillion years since I listened to a song from this woman.)
Have a beautiful weekend, my friends!
I agree sometimes we are as guilty as the media wallowing in misery.........ReplyDelete
I think some people are bored in their lives and try to latch onto some type of excitement without being directly involved.Delete
I think it is neat what you do for volunteering; I hope you share that story some day! I do agree with you; they will give us what they think we want to hear and see. I do like the human interest stories of good things that happen and those are the ones I gravitate to first when reading the newspaper.ReplyDelete
I'm with you, Betty. And I particularly love stories that portray unsung heroes. They really speak to me.Delete
You're right. I don't know why bad news is so popular. Maybe it makes us feel good that it did not happen to us.ReplyDelete
There are many reasons, and I would think this is one of them!Delete
WOW I didn't know you were a Hospice volunteer. I have so mush respect for the entire Hospice organization. They are absolutely wonderful and helped my Dad die with dignity, and believe me, that was no easy task!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad that your dad had hospice workers helping him. It's a wonderful organization and I'm happy to be a part of it.Delete
I've stopped watching the news because they over-sensationalize all the bad things that happen. I don't need that negativity in my life!ReplyDelete
You are right, Linda. It gets to be quite exhausting!Delete
It is probably something very deep rooted based on humanity's need to know where danger is located so we can fight, flee or flick to another station. I think you must be a very calming person for hospice patients to be around!ReplyDelete
That is one explanation, Francie, that I ran across while researching this. Flicking to another station sounds good to me!Delete
And I hope I'm a calming person for these individuals!
When someone says that since bad news gets higher ratings - that means we must be getting what we want - they are pretty much misinterpreting things. Think about the product that the news media sells. We often assume that the product is the news reporting and that we are the customers. But of course the media doesn't usually charge us for that stuff. Their product is actually our eyeballs on the screen and their customers are the advertisers who pay them money. And what glues our eyeballs to the screen? feeling fearful, appalled, confused, anxious or angry. They could just give us good news, and we'd enjoy it for a while, but pretty soon we'd be out in our gardens, or chatting with people, or taking pictures - because we don't really need the news media for the good stuff. And where would that leave their customers?ReplyDelete
Yes, their customers certainly are the advertisers. But advertisers will pay more for higher ratings. And we boost those ratings. So I guess we're all equally responsible for all this. I also believe that some individuals have a morbid curiosity and others are so bored with their ordinary lives that they seek some type of excitement somewhere that doesn't involve them directly. I saw that on my own blog. When I was writing the posts in the them 'Our Story', the posts with the really bad times skyrocketed with visitors. And when the posts got happier, there will less people visiting. The bad news drew in many more 'spectators'.Delete
good for you for volunteering Martha! I don't remember this Anne Murray song, but it's a good one.ReplyDelete
I'd never heard this song before and thought it was great. Then again, I'm not the biggest fan of Anne Murray, so I'm not surprised that I'd never heard it before.Delete
Love this song.ReplyDelete
I don't watch the news except when I am forced to watch when I am at a client's home. I wish I could turn my ears off.
I like being aware of what's going on in the world but the sensationalizing and gloom and doom reporting drives me batty. Plus, some feel good stories wouldn't be a bad thing now and again!Delete
It's sad that we are attracted to bad news. I also think money manipulates this issue. Ratings, profits are what is number one. Set it up so we are attracted to something that sells.ReplyDelete
I totally agree. There is always money involved! And that is a huge driving force.Delete
the bad news is a bitter truth. It's not so much the people writing it, but the people who like hearing it.ReplyDelete
Good points, Adam!Delete
There's so much good still in this world. Cool beens on the hospice.ReplyDelete
Absolutely, Wonder Woman! It is not all gloom and doom. There are so many good things in this world.Delete
Some only want to see the doom. They can keep it.Delete
Not long ago Tim suggested the hospice thing for me as well, but of course, not until I am wlo sickness and infections. It's a great thing. Helping out, not the being sick bits.
Hope you're having a great weekend. It's a new week here, I start on Sunday, and I'm excited to get Crackin!
The infamous "they" say fear sells better than happiness. I understand we need to know what is going on in the world, but I also wonder how much of this instant global awareness with the press adds to the insanity going on in the world. I personally would love a little less fear (and a lot less celebrity news. I can live forever without hearing what Kim Kardashian is doing)ReplyDelete
Hahaha! Yes, I'm with you Anne. I can also totally live forever without hearing what Kim Kardashian is doing. Who the heck cares??Delete
Good thoughts, Martha. I'm rather sure people are attracted to bad news and unsubstantiated gossip articles. When I was reading Yahoo News there were so many non-news articles in addition to the depressing ones that it was ridiculous. I totally boycott Yahoo News now...and just about never watch the tv news because it is so biased. I'd much rather spend my time reading blogs...and the important things I hear on my FB feed or from friends--news has a way of getting around. :)ReplyDelete
That's another thing that I can't understand: why people are so attracted to those types of gossip articles. Do they not have enough in their lives to keep them busy? Like you, I prefer reading blogs that I enjoy and reading/seeing interesting things on Facebook from friends and family. Much more enjoyable!Delete
Anne Murray, how Canadian is that, eh! Some good news in an often negative world. Having worked with the local media in regards to their tendency to sensationalise stories to give a negative slant, I have been an active campaigner to have some balance and report more of the good news stories. The sensationalism I'm referring to is their stigmatising those with mental health issues. It still goes on and yet, we are now making significant progress.
Excellent, thoughtful article, Martha. Well done for you and your most worthy volunteer work. You are making a change in this world for the better.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
I love that you are contributing to bringing about positive change for people with mental health issues! This is a HUGE thing for me. The stigmatization really upsets me. Isn't it about time we started treating mental health challenges like any other medical problem?Delete
Indeed we must treat mental health concerns as much as we treat physical health problems. Have a peaceful week ahead, Martha.Delete
Thank you, sincerely, for your volunteer service in the Hospice community. You are part of a band of angels. My mom had Hospice care and it was like a miracle sent to us. I know myself, and I know I could not do that work. I am in awe of those who can ~ and do. Thank you again. (From one introvert to another) :-)ReplyDelete
Awww...Chris, thank you! What a lovely comment. I'm so glad your mom was cared for in this way. When I first joined this group, I wasn't sure how I'd respond. But I'm handling it even better than I hoped for. There is something so...I don't know how to put it in words...joyful in doing/giving/being there. My father died of cancer over 8 years ago and till this day I remember every single person that showed us (his family), but especially him, some kindness and compassion. I promised myself that some day I'd pass that kindness and compassion on. So now it's my turn.Delete
"One more sad story's more than I can stand." That's perfect. I love this song. Thanks for linking it, Martha.ReplyDelete
This post reminds me of another song, too, Dirty Laundry. Remember that one? "Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down..."
But I do have you're having an uplifting weekend.
Yes! I'd completely forgotten about that song. I haven't heard it in years. And now...now I must...so off I go to locate it on YouTube!Delete
So true! What a great post!ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by!Delete
Had the exact conversation today at the shop with a customer, Martha. I think the media gives what the majority wants .....bad news. It sells and is lapped up by the masses. If the majority demanded good news, we would get it. Whatever sells. Same as the newest trends sell.ReplyDelete
I do think that the media goes a little overboard with all the unnecessary details though!
I agree, Jim. The media goes a little overboard. But the people tune in, and as long as they continue to do so, nothing will change.Delete
Good for you for volunteering Martha ...ReplyDelete
There is good in the world, there is good in many people, if we share that good it can make a difference.
All the best Jan
You are absolutely right, Jan. There is plenty of good in this world and sharing it makes a difference. I need to feel like I'm doing something purposeful in this life.Delete
Too much bad shit in the world and it outweighs the good. Although every now and then Aus tv morning and afternoon shows are adding in YouTube videos and talking about awards shows etc, so they do try to add in good/happy stuff.ReplyDelete
That's great that they're adding in good things. We definitely needed doses of that!Delete