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BadNews.Com: Does the Internet Make Recession Worse?

Can merely reporting on bad economic news actually create more? Well a recent article in the Financial Times argues that the Internet creates an unnecessary panic, since apocalyptic news is fed to us all day long.

The article explains that during the Great Depression, people could get a dose of bad news from the morning paper, but they had the whole day to recover and focus on their immediate realities. Today, we can read scary headlines on an minute-by-minute schedule, creating inescapable anxiety and an overall loss of confidence which only makes things worse. The Internet brings the intimate details of faraway woes into our lives. No matter how distant the daily consequences of the financial crisis are, you may feel that your demise is next.

This argument reminds me of one made last summer. If you recall, John McCain had to ditch adviser Phil Gramm after he said the "mental recession" was partially caused by the media's obsession with the economy's problems. Do you think the Internet is hurting our confidence, or is the anxiety simply a reality of tough times?


Join The Conversation
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
i always thought things were made worse by the 24 hr a day news, not just the internet though. I think if people hadn't been wrongly reassured about the economy in the 90's (I remember them saying it will just continue to rise) people wouldn't have been so likely to purchase things they couldn't afford, which is what has got us into this mess. If there had been a dose of reality in 2002 telling people that the housing prices were just a bubble and it was going to burst soon, things could be different. if we didn't have such a push to get under qualified buyers into homes they couldn't afford. The list goes on and on. The doom and gloom news forced people to withdraw from banks etc perpetuating the problem. It isn't all their fault, but they are definitely perpetuating the problem and driving us further down.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I'm not sure why the (internet) is being singled out however in general it has always been suggested to us here now in the modern age that we do need to "unplug" so to speak and return to ourselves if you will. The constant unforgiving media related stimulation that we endure each day is simply too much. For the sake of our wellness we should get away from it in ways that reconnects us to ourselves and the basic elements of who we are. IMO it is then in a state collected thought and confidence that we can approach our respective lives with a lot less stress and worry.
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
yes. i would like the media to stop reporting on the recession for a week. i guarantee consumer confidence will raise a bit.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Interesting. I'll bet it's true too.
stephley stephley 8 years
I don't think you can blame the Internet for where people choose to focus. There are news sites with bad news, but other sites and communities talk extensively about how to deal with the bad news: there are even sites where you can simply withdraw from reality.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
This is absolutely true. Things are bad thats a fact, but the doomsday scenarios and erroneous reporting makes it far worse. Look at what speculation does to gas prices.
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