The best news media trick
Have you ever noticed that there are few things you actively care about on a minute by minute basis? Often my brain does a quick check to see if I’m comfortable: am I tired? am I hurting? am I hungry? etc. and then carries on with its business or sorts the problem out if it needs to.
After that, it thinks about the thing I see before me: is this dissertation going well? do I understand any journals? will my degree ever make sense? and then makes the assumption that all the answers are ‘no’.
Finally, it might drift to the future and think about my lunch, my tea or buying more milk so I can provide for my breakfast. It reaches peak capacity. Which means there are a lot of things my brain doesn’t know it doesn’t know because it’s rarely liberated for enough time to consider the situations beyond my immediate contentment. Selfish I know, but sadly often the case.
Here is where news companies come in. They provide you with so much information that you start to care about things you would never have before. Personally, the freak snow fall they’ve had in parts of North America this winter impacts me not a jot, but that didn’t stop me devouring a Buzzfeed article full of pictures with lots of snow.
And companies are becoming wiser to this. I go to news websites to read articles which pique my interest. I’m not following a particular story, I’m just seeing what’s out there.
Earlier today I saw this amazing and captivating title on the BBC homepage:
What’s happening to the moon?! Why is it running away?! Will reading this article help stop all the terrible things which will happen as a result?! As the BBC would expect me to believe, yes, yes this article will prevent the moon departing from earth.
I realise this is the nature of news, otherwise it wouldn’t be new news and we would just be recycling old news. But what impact to my life does the moon moving away from the earth have? I was blissfully ignorant of that fact…
…but now I’m going to worry an awful lot.