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?