The body chemistry of a person watching/consuming a typical daily News show is pretty simple and interesting.
All these shows have a formula which plays on all their viewers/consumers/users pretty much the same. If you ever cried at a movie before, or, say, laughed out loud at one, then the writers, producers, and actors all basically completely effed with your feelings, right? You never really thought of it like that, have you? Well, we tend to believe that so-called “Entertainment” shows, or movies, etc. are fictional, or deliberately intended to obviously entertain people, so this is what gets you to immediately “buy in” to willingly consume them.
I don’t hate movies and I, like most people, am a total sucker for binge watching any good series on Netflix or Amazon or whatnot, but the real point here is how are the News shows effing with your feelings?
I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “If it bleeds, it leads”, right? And, well, we all kinda know that it’s happening, and we all just accept that those stories are going to be first, so we prepare for it, and ride out the storm of the whole News show to the end, to learn the “information”, right? But here’s the REAL reason why they show those stories in the beginning of the shows. It’s because the reeling, jerking, cringing, rage inducing “loss” that was associated with it caused you to empathize with the people who are being reported about(or the “victims”) in the show, and that actually releases a concoction of emotion-inducing chemicals (hormones), which, in this case, are dominated by the one that we all know as “the confidence hormone”, or Testosterone.
Testosterone is the chemical that puts us all into “fight mode” and, oh boy, does it FEEL GOOD! Yeah, we LOVE testosterone because it’s what makes us feel invincible and “bullet proof”, and that we can tackle any challenge thrown at us. But testosterone also makes us make bad decisions and do stupid things, which are, on balance, not in our best interest and will probably have significantly harsh and negative consequences attached to them afterward.
So, for nature, testosterone is a sort of gamble. We evolved it to give us a better chance in a life-or-death fight because at least then we wouldn’t have to worry about nervousness or hesitancy, which, in nature, would get us killed, and then lead to our genes being eradicated from the gene pool.
After being jacked full of testosterone with the first “if it bleeds, it leads” story of the day… and no where for that testosterone to go, they’ll then go to commercial and in those ads they’ll pitch to you a series of products that will sort of bring you down from your testosterone induced funk, which of course will have the same feeling now attached to those products when you see them at the store, which, predictably, will now render you more pliable to purchase them over other like products.
And after that commercial series, the remaining bits of stories and reports will present to you many opportunities to make you feel like a winner or get you amped up for more and more. The major chemical involved here is Dopamine and it also FEELS AMAZING! Dopamine is the chemical we feel when we feel accomplished and have just achieved a big “win” for something we did, or perceived that we did. Dopamine is seriously addictive and with each little “win” more and more is pumped into our bloodstream, which only makes us go after more of those challenges, especially when mixed with testosterone.
This is why you literally get addicted to your News. It’s also what happens to people when they go to the casino and why gambling is literally, also, an addiction.
I think I’ll stop it there, with many other future articles to write about with coinciding concepts, but I’ll leave you with this one question…
If we regulate gambling and casinos with “Gambling Commissions” and other regulatory policies and agencies, and if the 24 hour news cycle is doing the exact same thing to our bodies, and society at large, as the addictions that it causes destroy society, hurts good people’s lives, and forces people to make really stupid decisions that actually hurt other people as well…
…then why are we NOT regulating the News?
Think YOUR News shouldn’t be regulated?
Tell me….how does this image make you FEEL?
NOW try to guess which chemicals you’re feeling.
– Your Friendly Neighborhood Science Teacher