The primary focus of this paper is to examine how internet content and mass media news can lead to anxiety. The first internet content that raised my anxiety was posted by Ryan Jaslow on CBS News 2012. The post stated that mild cases of anxiety carried high risk of premature death. The content insides explained that these mild anxiety cases include spending sleepless nights, stress from work and daily life activities as well as relationship difficulties (such a heart break). The first time I saw this post, my mind jogged back and forth and counted the many sleepless nights I had spent in the past. Some of them resulted from simple daily life problems such as conflicts with friends, siblings and parents. I feared that these occasions that I considered insignificant could ruin my life and cause premature death. Clearly, no one wants to die young. These thoughts made me even spend some more sleepless nights. However, over time, I regained my normal sleeping habits and the anxiety levels decreased.
The second reading that raised my anxiety was posted on NDTV.com about the ‘10 deadliest hurricanes to ever hit the USA’. This post listed the Galveston hurricane of 1900, Hurricane Katrina of 2005, the Okeechobee hurricane of 1928 as the top hurricanes which were category 3s and 4s and each left over 3000 persons dead. The one thing that raised my anxiety is the loss of life and property resulting from Hurricane Katrina. This occurrence left 1,200 people dead and costed the country $108 billion in damage. It was a category three storm. The disheartening part was the section that mentioned a coming hurricane Harvey, which was a category 4 and already sending life-threatening winds to Texas. At this period, I had a relative and few friends on the state of Texas. I could not imagine the effects the hurricane would have on their lives and property.
The third online content was posted on the USA Today News website. This post stated that ‘North Korea threatens unimaginable strike on United States’. This post explained how North Korea was planning to attack the USA with a nuclear long-range missile that would ‘bring unimaginable pain to the USA’. The article cited that President Trump responded by saying that he would ‘totally destroy North Korea’. This exchanges raised my anxiety as I thought the world would get back into the times of world war.
In a related post on Express News by Millar (2018) explained how North Korea was threatening Japan to cover it in a ‘nuclear cloud’. Having in mind that Japan was a casualty of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings, Japan threatened to launch air strikes. In response, North Korea flew a test nuclear missile over Japanese islands. These incidences showed potential nuclear war between the two nations. I felt that I was living in a hopeless, restless and inhumane world. These instances disturbed my mind and I could not help my anxiety.
The recent news from Syria are capable of causing emotional and psychological distress to anyone on the globe. A recent event in Douma cites and incidence of a Chemical attack on Syria which left more than 70 persons dead. This information was posted on BBC News of 8th April 2018. The video showing the incidence is covered because it ‘contains upsetting scenes’. The chemical attack left other 500+ people with serious physical and medical injuries. This news is disturbing and caused me emotional and psychological distress.
In similar news relating to Syrian war, The Levantine Narrative by Katerji (2015) posted a picture of streams of blood flowing through the streets of Douma Syria. The images on the post show dead corpses oozing blood on water and some of these victims are casualties. The content is disturbing and has potential to raise anxiety, psychological and emotional distress.
- BBC News, (2018). Syria war: At least 70 killed in suspected chemical attack in Douma.
- Hjelmgaard, K. (2017). North Korea threatens ‘unimaginable’ strike on United States. USA Today [website].
- Katerji, O. (2015). Rivers of blood flow through the streets of Douma. WordPress [online].
- Millar, J. (2018). North Korea threatens Japan with ‘disaster’ claiming it’s ‘sharpening sword’ for INVASION. Express [website].
- NDTV (2017). 10 Deadliest Hurricanes to Ever Hit the United States.
- Ryan, J. (2012). Mild cases of anxiety, depression may lead to an early death. CBS News [website].