The Culture of Fear and Its Effects on Society

1047 words 5 pages
The Culture of Fear and its Effects on Society
Min Kim Fear and the marketing of paranoia and uncertainty have become daily staples in today’s culture. Every day there arise new threats to national security manufactured by politicians and fuelled by the public’s demand to be protected from these imaginary bogeymen. With the vast increases in technology our society has experienced in the past forty years the news media have become an especially effective orator of impending doom, the daily exposés about the “silent killer” that lurks in your kitchen cabinet; bombard our society daily with dozens of urgent reminders of the real and imagined dangers that lurk in and outside our homes. The consumption of fear has become a diet our society
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Time and time again history has shown that culturally and possibly on an even deeper level Americans are prone to knee jerk reactions to fear that are seldom rational or effective.
This media saturation of violent crime stories and their strict adherence the age old adage of “If it bleeds, it leads” has led to greater social paranoia of the people around us in our communities and neighborhoods and has weakened the cohesion many societies had as a result of being able to openly and comfortably communicate with one another. This country has never been safer yet felt so disproportionally endangered. People seem to hold a love and hate relationship with fear, on one hand their general mood deteriorates when presented with a terrible situation or potentially frightening scenario, yet out of all other topics many mass entertainment spokespeople claim that the macabre and frightening are their most demanded topics (Bennett, W. Lance News: The Politics of Illusion. 2d ed. 1988). It is this constant fascination with being terrified and the media’s willingness to oblige that has shaped this country into a nation of hypochondriacs, fear mongers, doom sayers and profiteers. This generation has forever shaped the psyche of the nation into one


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