The bad news has become the norm. What can I do about it?


It’s the 23rd of April, another attack has happened, this time in Canada. I saw it, scrolled through Twitter’s hashtag for it, and I didn’t feel much, because I’m used to bad things happening in this world. I’ve become desensitized to terrible news, acts of terrorism, and mass killings. When I realize that all I’ve done is sigh and say “again?” I feel bad about it, because there’s no sympathy in that- there’s no horror in it.

But it’s what happens when bad things become the normal.

Terrible acts aren’t new, they’ve been around as long as we have. But in this age of mass sharing we hear about it more. We watch it on TV every night, we get news updates on our smartphone as they break. It’s constant and because of that it’s normal.

I was wondering if there’s anything I can do about it without becoming a hermit who has no idea what’s happening in the world. That’s when I realized that we’re not sharing the good things as rapidly as we are the bad. A few good things go viral, but not as many as the bad. Scrolling through trending topics on Facebook or Twitter, almost all of them are about negative things. So it’s those things that feel more normal than the good things. It’s those things that make the world seem so dark, and it’s those things that keep sympathy from being our first reaction rather than “again?” or *insert political viewpoint*.

It’s well known that people are more likely to leave negative reviews than positive reviews on products and services. The same is true for events, we’re more likely to share them. Are you more likely to share about a small good thing or a small bad thing? The bad thing, because we don’t like being inconvenienced.

I think I need to work on making good news my normal, so I can bathe in that positivity, but also so when I see the negative I have the right response.

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