Is exposure to a news overdose harm my mental health?

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Shaima Ahmed Farouk


Posted on: Monday 10 August 2020 – 12:31 PM | Last updated: Monday, August 10, 2020 – 12:31 PM

Circulating news daily is a normal thing in the lives of many people, but the level of follow-up may increase significantly in one period than others, such as the period of the spread of the Corona virus, and the need for more information about it, and many people spend a long time searching and absorbing media stories related to viruses for protection. Subjectivity.

But does exposure to an excessive number of news and media, whether traditional or electronic, represent harm to humans, as explained by Noam Shapanser, professor of psychology at Uterben University in America.

How can too much news weaken power?
Part of the answer to these questions has to do with what is known in medicine as dose response.Most of the substances there are useful to some extent, but only if taken correctly. It causes harms such as anxiety and confusion, according to what Shapanser said in his article on the Psychology Today website, which specializes in mental health.

If news is knowledge, and if knowledge is power, how can excessive news weaken power? Here, Shapanser says that to understand why excessive news is harmful, we must first understand the theory of signal detection, which relates to our ability to detect signals in a noisy environment trying to distinguish the signal from noise in it – meaning truth from lying – is subject to two types of errors, either false alarm , Or wrong.

Spanzer says that consuming a huge kind of knowledge, especially if it is an unhelpful consumer, further skews an individual’s worldview by provoking a basic cognitive bias that assumes that the things we hear about so often are common.

In addition, hearing a lot about negative events leads us to believe that negative events are common, even if they are not, this means that when we overdose on Corona virus news, for example, what we get is not more education about Corona virus, but rather A kind of Coronavirus propaganda, according to which the virus is preparing to destroy us all, by means of exaggerated anxiety and fear.

Why do we consume so much news?
Shabaner explains the increased interest or the heavy consumption of information, that it is related to the real, local or global threats that form in the mind of the individual about his environment, his country and his world, so he always needs to know what things are up to in an attempt to feel reassured, but on the contrary.

He continues that current media technology is bringing threatening events to our lives from everywhere, without stopping, and just as the omnipresence of food forces us to overeat, so the ubiquitous spread of news pushes us towards overconsumption.

As is the case with food, excessive consumption has harmful effects, and consuming too much news has the same effects on the mind as consuming too much food on the body, instant gratification followed by discomfort and a deterioration in mood.

Shabnasser gave some advice at the end of his speech, and said that, given the current media environment, protecting our mental health during the epidemic in particular requires managing the reception of our news carefully and intentionally, as is the case with food, good habits are necessary, such as paying attention to what you put in your cognitive system, Verify the sources, verify the information being circulated, take the time to verify the information and take a rest.



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