News media target your emotions to increase customer engagement – and increase anxiety

Regarding those who closely follow the news:

‘“These are the people with an intolerance of uncertainty, and are probably already anxious individuals, and are exactly the ones for whom negative news has a negative psychological impact on their own personal anxieties and worries,” he said.

As consumers become satiated, the news media responds by increasing the “emotionality” of its coverage, meaning negativity is emphasized to keep customers engaged, he wrote.’

Source: Fatigued by the News? Experts Suggest How to Adjust Your Media Diet – The New York Times

With the ability today to measure every “click” on a news story, the media is gradually becoming more and more like “fake news” web sites, designing stories and headlines with inflammatory and often perjorative headlines to drive more Likes, Shares and eyeballs for advertisers.

Inflammatory and scary stories (“fear” is a powerful propaganda tool) engage readers and viewers. Those that are emotionally hooked are more likely to read the entire story or watch the TV news report. Further, those who respond on an emotional level are also more likely to respond to advertising messages – in effect, once emotionally engaged, our “guard” is down. We stop thinking.

At some point, as we realize the culture of perpetual outrage is keeping us in a heightened state of anxiety, many of us tune out and consume less and less news.

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