Negative effects of negative media

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While I currently find myself with more time on my hands, I had been indulging myself in more news than ever. However, I find that I cannot partake in the consumption of media in a modern environment such as the one in which we live without coming across several pieces that sour my world view. For all that our planet and our people are getting better, the news and media outlets often show the Earth at its worst, forcing me to limit my consumption of news to protect my mental health, despite my desired career path.

Negative media can take many forms but one of the most prevalent that affects today’s youth is the kind that circulates online. This covers several different types of media that can affect the way that people, especially teenagers, view themselves and others. Firstly, social media, as a group of platforms, allows information and discussions to pass more easily around a large group of people. This also means that rumours and lies can spread freely too. While what is said about a person may not be true, it can negatively impact the way other people see them, changing the way that they are treated. Social media also makes this easier too, as commenting or messaging anonymously is a possibility that shields people from the responsibility of their actions. Not only that, but it can also change the way that they see themselves. This can also be caused by another aspect of social media. 

The use of social media as a means of advertisement as well a way of advertising our own lives means that an idea of ‘perfection’ when it comes to body types has emerged from what is most popular on the internet. This means that many believe that if they do not conform to these images, then they have to change the way they look to feel better about themselves and their own body. This can lead to mental health issues which can be both physically and emotionally damaging for anyone who might possibly experience it. However, it is not only online media that can be damaging.

A lot of modern news now is dominated by negative news stories across the world. As a race, we are drawn to the more dangerous words and can remember them better as a defence mechanism so that we avoid danger. Yet, with the increasing amount of negative news, we are consuming an increasing amount regularly. This releases stress hormones every time we encounter this type of media on news, increasing the frequency in which we experience stress. This, in turn, leads to physical symptoms such as fatigue, problems sleeping, anxiety and even depression. There are a number of ways that we can manage our consumption. 

With the current world climate, it is becoming increasingly important for us to limit our consumption of news and media that could negatively affect our mental health. Firstly, avoid 24/7 news and switch off for a little while. While it is important to stay informed about world news, it can also be bad for you. Therefore limiting your consumption and turning off devices and staying away from outlets is a good way to benefit your mental health. Another way to moderate your consumption healthily is to use primary sources when consuming the news. Information is diluted and secondary sources often have misinformation that isn’t accurate. By using primary sources, the information is far more likely to be accurate. Many sites are offering insightful tips that are useful, especially in this time of crisis. 


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1 Comment

  • July 23, 2020 at 4:37 pm
    Miss Layton

    Wow, i never really thought about the huge impact the news had on mental health. It’s surprising when you take a step back and look at all the clickbait and miss-informaton being spread by money hungry companies.
    Thanks for the article, i look forward to the next one.


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