29 Jan 2023

BREAKING NEWS: How to Out-break Breaking News

BREAKING NEWS: How to Out-break Breaking News
The news surrounds us. It’s shocking, sensational, and entertaining. It’s also mostly negative.

Why do we do this to ourselves? The answer is negativity bias [1]. We’ve evolved as humans to pay more attention to danger. We see it and remember it more easily. Then we do ourselves no favors because of the availability heuristic [2]. We remember so much of it that we think it happens all the time.

The news shapes us. But is it newsworthy? Healthy? Real?

Because we’re also polarized. Combative. Intolerant.

Mass media screams this because clickbait is profitable. Social media pushes this because ads are profitable. Influencers love this because likes are profitable.

So here's one idea to make the system work for us instead: change our news feeds to read more about what’s going right and who’s doing good. Hear where justice is being served and the environment is being saved. See where the world is becoming a better place.

We’ll soon be sharing our favorite sites with you. If you have one, here’s your chance to share your karma. DM @karmalize_org or email us so we can share with everyone!

[1] Jill Suttie, “How to Overcome Your Brain’s Fixation on Bad Things”, Greater Good Magazine, The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley; January 2020
[2] Shonna Waters, PhD, “The cognitive biases caused by the availability heuristic”, BetterUp, October 2021