There’s a pretty broad consensus that the Indian dad rules that he’s a funny type of news junkie. From blaring the television to replaying the same bulletin every time it’s played, a generation calibrated to this standard of identity seems to have a certain disposition to the seemingly unexciting but surprisingly exciting scope of what happens as news. But it turns out that it is not just any section of the world’s population that is addicted to such dissemination of information on mundane matters. News addiction, in fact, is a fairly common phenomenon that affects millions of enthusiasts around the world.
But if this referring to news addiction sounds very basic even when it is only evident in that name, it is because it is in fact a very general term. The most ‘clinical’ affirmation turns out to be that of a much more sophisticated Headline Stress Disorder and it is from where the actuality of its appearance as a de facto addiction becomes quite evident. And while this routinely prevailing disruptive revelation had a big moment during the stressful times of the coronavirus pandemic and continues to do so during the chaos-ridden roundup of current affairs, it’s been a thing for quite some time.
The coining of the term itself has not been so definite in the sense that it did not arise from that exclusive intention. In fact, Steven Stosny, who first uttered these words together to allude to something very real, has been a relationship therapist his entire life. But the substance that this coupling of terms has managed to assume has valid ground in a world easily and rampantly infiltrated by the overwhelming sensationalization of journalistic joueurs.
The fact that headline anxiety is nothing more than an exploration of neurasthenia’s larger identity makes a case for its claim as a condition of worry, even when it might not immediately be considered as such. Lately, however, ‘recognition’ has been very helpful in being there, even when those who actually suffer from this modern affliction may choose not to be aware of their own incurring situation.
However, it may not be completely self-sabotaging. In this age and time of readily available, even ‘radicalized’ presentation of world events, further fueled by speculation and stimulated as well in all pre-named proclamations and affirmations, the overwhelming nature of its nature as addictive-prone news is really very evident. 24/7 access only helps the cause, as do prevailing situations explained by everything from health issues to impending wars, terrorist threats to climate change, economic hardship to political instability that it evokes images of a rather dystopian reality to find oneself in a precarious situation. .
Related, of course, are the more well-known perspectives that Doomscrolling alludes to. But while this may be a limited phenomenon in its digital manifestation, the pervasiveness of the news entity is what provides headline stress disorder an expansive avenue to wield its power. And that also explains the greater relevance of it in the measure of the time in which it has been in operation. Accessing all kinds of news without actually being able to filter it due to the underlying marketing strategies is one of the most convenient ways for headlines to wreak havoc on human emotional consciousness.
The COVID 19 pandemic and the current state of affairs have been by far the most propitious reasons for the news to have significantly weighed on our sanity. But these are not the only cases of such difficult times. Similar effects had occurred in different intensities during other periods in history marked by certain developments and emergences that made news in particular more accessible. There could also be associated notions that it is also necessary to keep abreast of and up to date with events that perhaps led us to seek out newsletters and breaking news in the first place. And it’s been a natural progression from then on in this vortex of varied offerings articulated to create exactly the kind of impact that would reinforce what has pushed the boundaries to become today as commercialized companies.
It is also in this arena of assisting that news headlines in particular are particularly emphasized to present statements that one may not be interested in or rather not prompted to. These are online identity clickbaits, but they are used just as effectively in print and digital media to deliver emotionally aggressive content. Even when they may all be factually correct and therefore ethical and not misleading, these liberation tactics lure audiences into exploring an exaggerated presentation of events, something that might not originally have such potential to be recorded on film. awareness.
Stepping up this game of conveying shocks and unpleasant surprises are the visual aids that make up most of the premise of our reception. And seeing is believing indeed, it’s obvious that we would be annoyed and haunted by replays of what we’ve seen long after the videos have been played, paused, and supposedly forgotten. This significant, but rather subconscious, way of penetrating our thoughts and minds also means that we continue to feed on that fodder of unhealthy strains because we don’t recognize or realize the delusional diet we now thrive on.
The perpetuation of such a habit as an essential part of our daily routine already makes the news an indispensable element of the day. This means that we continue to ‘engage’ with the news hours and primetime bulletins despite the negatives they claim about us because we ignore such side effects as well. Avoiding the news doesn’t even seem like a possibility, since one definitely needs to be informed. And it’s not even plausible to be suggested as a “remedy” since news addiction still doesn’t classify as a real enough problem.
This fallibility on our part to react to the news is also partly ingrained. The working of a negativity bias means that we end up being more attentive to disadvantages and sometimes worry unnecessarily about them, even when they are unrelated to us, despite the fact that such a statement of fact is likely to project us as somewhat selfish. Part of the problem stems from the uncertainty that creeps in due to adversity prevailing, something that is scarier than negativity itself. The effects produced by such a characteristic insistence on what ifs occur in a certain obviousness of impacting moods and triggering the stressors of what worries us. And even when the psychological impact would still be palpable, it is also human physicality that news addiction invariably endangers.
Beyond personal stress and anxiety, the volatility found in terms of emotional experiences extends to the range of interpersonal relationships as well. Physical concerns manifest in the form of sleep disturbances, mood swings, and aggression, or even more serious encounters than are similarly expressed as a variety of encounters that claim to be post-traumatic stress disorder. Distortion of body and mind invariably influences one’s disposition so that it becomes second nature perpetuating the individual.
That something as “critically essential” as news consumption could be such a provocative practice for entertaining humans is a shock in itself. But consider the very nature of the news itself, which occurs as it does today, rarely retained in its original essence of reporting and rather ritually repeated in deliberate interpretation, and the path by which it occurs is most certainly set. However, you can learn to deal with news addiction even while you’re still on that buzzing track with the latest happenings.
It can be essential to be more aware of the type of news that we allow ourselves to delve into. The source of the news, as well as its authenticity, must also be carefully considered. Filtering out information as if it’s real and relevant to us can be stressful, but it’s still no match for the degree of anxiety induced by the overbearing nature of headline stress disorder.
It is also helpful to have a specific time for news consumption. The amount of time we allow to study them carefully can make a big difference, as we limit the scope of actual access we have to them. The subconscious could keep running for a long time, but at least we wouldn’t be feeding the same distressing information into our minds over and over again.
Specifically exploring more positive and uplifting news that is promising or ones that particularly project the essence of humanity can help counter the excess negativity running rampant at all times.
Resuming another activity that holds our attention will also be a detour from the route infested with threatening exaggeration schemes, for example. And it can also be choosing to discuss with others, rather than debating some of the most troubling bits of what is currently happening to such an extent that it can hardly be ignored. After all, news cannot be completely ignored in the context of socially intelligent human identity, and therefore the importance of headlines cannot be discounted, even in this stressfully stretched space.