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When too much news is bad news: Is the way we consume news detrimental to our health?

When news was delivered via traditional one-way outlets such as television and radio, we were passive receivers. But on social media platforms, we're active consumers. We sculpt and cultivate our news through immediate feedback, such as reacts or shares.

this might not be especially good for us.

In early months of COVID-19, researchers found news consumed online and via social media was associated with increased depression, anxiety and stress. The effects weren't as bad when news was consumed via traditional media such as television and newspapers.

After the September 11 attacks, young people who consumed news via online sources experienced more PTSD symptoms than those using traditional media. This effect was attributed to more graphic images online, and the possibility for extra exposure as people could watch the footage repeatedly.

Multiple studies have found the more we consume news during or after a tragedy, crisis or natural disaster, the more likely we are to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Journalists are said to capitalize on our negative bias to capture our attention. Some news sources have learned this lesson the hard way. When a city reporter from an online Russian news website decided only to report good news for a day, they lost two-thirds of their readers.

Those who use social media largely for news, instead of social networking, show increased anxiety and depression. These results highlight the importance of being strategic about how you use social media, particularly during times of crisis.

be aware your news consumption via different sources can look very different. Traditional media tends to focus on the facts, whereas stories, rumors, and human interest pieces are prioritized on social media.

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On 10/21/2020 at 5:53 PM, corybroo said:

The effects weren't as bad when news was consumed via traditional media such as television and newspapers.

It may be so, but too often the coverage of traditional media looks more like a joke or a fairy tale than a true journalistic report. I'm speaking about Italian public TV, but I've been told the same goes for the heavily biased traditional US channels. 

At least an unbiased individual may sift thru diversified online material and build an objective opinion.

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