If you are on ANY social media, you will understand what I am referring to when I say "Click and Bait".
Something catches your eye while you are scrolling through your social media site and the next thing you know you have crawled into the black hole of the WWW. IF they EVER get your contact information, you are suckered. They will not leave you alone, and the unsubscribe button is hidden in the extra small print deep in some unlikely spot. We have been drawn in by cute stories, promises of riches, assurance of good heath--or any of a long list of what we desire. We know better, but just cannot seem to keep ourselves from clicking on the promise to make it all better.
Believe it or not, I read a story in the "New York Times" this week which intrigued me. (NOW in my defense, I read and listen to a wide variety of sources knowing somewhere in the middle is the truth) This article was titled "Bad News Bias". It seems a group of social scientist have conducted a research project (They get BIG federal grants to do this sort of thing) concerning the lean toward negative and bad news in the media. NEWS FLASH--most news is now bad news. WHY?
Bottom line---it's all about money and drama and bad news sells. We have all become Bad News Junkies. Since reading this article I have paid particular attention to what I am hearing and seeing, and the vast majority is bad news. Oh, they might spend the last minute or two of televised news or bury a story in the middle of the paper about some really great news, but for the most part we are being bombarded with bad news. My friend calls these news sources, National News Tabloids. Not a bad description.
WHY are we addicted to bad news? Why are we not demanding to hear a "fair and balanced" report of the daily news? Why are the headlines not about good deeds, serving our fellow man, important scientific discoveries ...? What is it about us that keeps tuning in and turning the page on today's litany of bad news?
My super smart friend bounced an interesting theory off me while we were discussing the article---
SO GLAD I AM BETTER THAN ________
We are trying to appease our disappointment or perhaps down right guilt over who we are by comparing ourselves to the worst news of the day. NOW this My Friends, is a sad commentary.
This leads me to a personal observation. Am I more prone to spread the bad news or report the good when speaking with others? This past few months I have made a conscious effort to not repeat stories that are not mine to tell-especially bad news-sad news-disappointing news. One piece of really good advice my mother gave me a LONG TIME AGO, "If you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all." I am really working on trying to hold to this line. I am trying to only report the good news and allow those who are affected to tell the other when they are ready. A good friend celebrates our victories and stands with us in our suffering. Praying I can stand with those who ask me to pull along side them and turn off or at least minimize the daily report of the bad news.
Love the Brotherhood."
I Peter 2:7