From an evolutionary view, becoming alarmed over dangerous situations is adaptive. Our fight-or-flee response has been honed over the millennium. Now, our prompt and focused attention on alarming information has been used by media – old, main, or social – to capture our eyes and ears (and wallets). What might science tell us about our increasingly alarming media diets? For that, let's first turn to hospitals.
medium is the message
I’m a big fan of the theory that the medium is the message. More specifically, linear media, like words in paragraphs and articles, promote our more linear, analytic thinking. Non-linear, more visual media, like memes and pictures, promote our more emotional, intuitive thinking. Here, an analysis of the language found in books is an example of what I mean.