I was watching the German news together with my wife yesterday. I do follow the news, as it's a part of my work and passion, but when watching it together with my wife or someone else who's just "consuming" it, I realise that we watch it in very different ways.
Yesterday, as almost always, there was a long segment about climate change and how we're all going to die a horrible death (I admit that they didn't literally say that, but that was the message between the lines). I told my wife that this is classical fear-mongering which led to a further discussion. I can see that she's addicted to the fear-mongering, like so many others.
It's such an interesting phenomenon and a prominent tool for the power to be, but pointing this out will get the fear-junkies calling you a "denier". Well, not my wife; she's usually friendlier and listen to my rants and nods kindly and then get back to consuming the fear-mongering.
It doesn't matter if it is following death counts from covid-19 in real-time, watching live feeds from volcanic eruptions on La Palma, listening to people talk about terrorist threats or this constant rambling about climate change. The people are hooked on it! They're feeding themselves with all this fear-mongering, and they just can't get enough.
It's all so counterproductive. For most of us, the risk of dying from covid-19, terrorism or climate change is so tiny it's almost not noticeable. And nothing gets better by feeding your fear; on the contrary, it might impact you negatively in numerous ways.
I'm not the first to note this, but it's so clear to me that most people need to shut their TV:s and smartphones off, stop following the news and go out in nature to breathe some fresh air. They need to have coffee with their friends, cook delicious dinners with their families and read poetry.
For God's sake, drink a great glass of wine or two. It's way less dangerous than consuming the news.
I think I'm slowly turning into a hippie. But I'm ok with that. At least I'm not afraid, and I'm embracing life. That's a win for me!