25 January 2017

Mass information in the media has caused readers to stop caring about real issues.

Over-stimulation in the media has caused readers to stop caring about real issues.

There used to be a time when a journalist could write an exposé and someone, somewhere would care. Take for example, when Nick Davis called out Rupert Murdoch for hacking phones left, right and centre. Uproar.  

Flash forward to 2017 and Trump is President. Somehow a man who has been accused of a variety of heinous activities, most of which are illegal, has become the most powerful man in the world.  
Somewhere along the road people stopped responding to shocking discoveries. We became desensitised. 

In an article written by Professor Christopher J Ferguson for the Huffington Post, Ferguson defined desensitisation as: "a decreased emotional response to aversive stimuli."  

In an ever evolving world of digital media, readers are bombarded with information whether they have sought it out themselves or not. Individuals can google a person and will immediately be greeted with countless pages of information on that person. We are constantly sifting through media stimuli and choosing what to keep and what to discard.  

In the case of Trump there was too much information. Although it's no secret that Trump and the media don't get on, in a perverse way the media actually helped his campaign. By constantly calling out his lies and reporting on terrible acts he has committed, the media over stimulated our psyches with Trump. The effect was damning. Like an over-saturated sponge, readers allowed information to seep out of their brains. Therein lies the problem. Unable to take on aversive stories about Trump, readers started to ignore them. As we all learned at school, ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away. 

The issue of over-saturation doesn't start and end with Trump. It happens every day on a variety of issues. It is clear the media needs to tackle the problem, what isn't clear is how.   

One thing is for sure though, we can not allow ourselves to go on like this. 

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