Staring at disaster: Can’t get enough bad news

There’s this peculiar phenomenon I’m trying to figure out of staring at disaster, sort of becoming obsessed with disaster.
You can see it all over as there’s just this hunger to find out more details about everything that’s going wrong.
And it seems like this is the same kind of thing that happens for somebody who is experiencing pain.
Sometimes you can really kind of zoom in on that point, and almost it becomes reassuring somehow, it becomes comforting in a way, to be thinking about some kind of specific pain.
Maybe like somebody with heartbreak continuing to go back and thinking about heartbreak and almost like finding a certain kind of strange sort of relief in really focusing on remembering all the details of the heartbreak.
Or if you have some pain in some part of your body, just like focusing on that part of the body and thinking about it and reading maybe about the condition or whatever it is, just going deeper and deeper, being more and more zoomed in on some particular thing that’s wrong.
And I’m not sure exactly why this is, but I can feel this happening in so many different ways.
So many of us are zoomed in on just reading anything we can, listening to anything we can, talking about the issue of the day and just considering disaster, considering everything that can go wrong, imagining what can go wrong.
Maybe we’re just kind of programmed to want to do this, maybe to help us prepare for disaster, prepare for difficult situations.
We’re somehow programmed to just enjoy zooming in on all the details of everything that’s wrong.
And maybe it’s this same kind of programming that makes it more difficult for us to enjoy and feel happy for the things that are going right.
Because when things are going right, it’s just OK, that’s just part of the background now.
Everything’s fine.
I don’t need to worry about it, because there’s no problem.
But as soon as there’s something that is possibly a problem, it just seems to so easily become the focus of so much attention.
I mean, maybe in some way it’s like picking at a scab.
So you have a wound, and you just kind of want to play with the wound in some way.
You can see this happening with the way people are watching the news, the way people are talking about the situation seemingly endlessly.
And I’ve absolutely been part of it too.
That’s why I’m talking about this, that I somehow feel that feeling of “Oh, you know, I haven’t checked the news within the last few hours.
Maybe there’s some kind of update.
Maybe something has changed.
Maybe I can get some kind of further information.” And even if the news is only bad news, it still somehow gives me a certain comfort to be able to read about it.
Now possibly one reason for this, I could speculate, could be that when we have anxiety, it is very unfocused.
It has no clear object of fear.
It’s not clear exactly what we’re afraid of.
So that’s very uncomfortable.
Besides the feeling of the fear itself, there’s that feeling of not knowing exactly what it is we’re afraid about.
Everything is so ill-defined.
But if we can then focus on one particular object of fear, that, well, it’s still going to be frightening, because it has to be a truly frightening thing to grab our attention like that and become the focus of the fear, but then at least there’s a certain comfort in giving shape to something that we have anxiety about.
If we can give it a clear shape, something that we can fear with a face, rather than the fear of a shadow, maybe that somehow makes it a bit more comfortable, if, in fact, something we’re afraid of can be considered comfortable.
So that’s just my speculation on maybe what’s behind this, but I’d love to hear your point of view.
Do you also share this feeling of just wanting to consume as much detail as possible about potential disasters and all the bad news and what might happen? And if so, do you find it provides any kind of comfort?

#toomuchnews #newsobsession #badnews

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