It's Easier to Believe the Worst
If everyone blindly accepted everything they were told, we would still believe that the world was flat. I like to question, investigate, theorize and conclude. So why is it that people so willingly accept the opinion of anyone willing to stand up on a soap box and shout at the top of their lungs about the evils of, well, the evils of everything?
In my years of being faced with things like this I can theorize that people tend to believe the worst about things more readily than they do the good. Put on the television, radio, magazines, etc and you’ll see a trend over the past decade or so – SHOCK VALUE. Let’s scare them into keeping their attention! Almost anything that makes us “ooh” and “ahh” are attention keepers these days. Take a look at the wide variety of reality television on the air and you’ll know what I mean.
People want to hear, see and believe the negative things. They want to know about destruction, rumors, innuendo and the like. This is the main reason why reality television is slowly becoming mainstream programming.
Let’s take a look at one of the relatively modern conveyances of information of destruction - the television. In a hypothetical situation, if I were to approach one of the major networks and tell them that I want to create a television show that is about how the world won’t change much and will survive as we know it for another 250,000 years. I’m not sure, but I could speculate that I would be shown the door in a matter of minutes. Now, let me once again approach that same network with a show that is about how the world will end in 25 years. A week after that meeting I would be saying “Lights, camera, action”.
If an announcement was made on the news that a cure for cancer was found, we would most likely question it's validity; however, if another news announcement was made that something caused cancer, most people tend to accept it without question.
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The same way of thought can be applied to why so many people are believing more and more than everything is “bad” for you. There is barely a food, or device of modern convenience that we use that someone, somewhere, is saying is bad for you. Televisions, microwaves, cell phones…almost anything electric seems to get a bad rap from someone. There is also someone, somewhere that is telling you how bad different foods are. Gluten, sugar, soy, eggs, even something as seemingly innocent as bottled water – and the list goes on and on.