Like many of you, I’m just about fed up with all the politics on social media this fall.
In my downtime, I often head to Facebook, usually scrolling with one hand while one of my children falls asleep in the other arm. I’m looking for something light — parenting foibles, cat memes, heartwarming stories, the activities of that one co-worker who is always doing interesting things. What I’m not looking for is negativity, and that’s all political social media posts are full of these days. The latest gaffe, news reports on how the gaffe wasn’t really a gaffe, editorials on how the gaffe was a calculated ploy for media attention, a cartoon poking fun of that manipulation… it’s exhausting.
But it’s effective, and it works. And that’s because our brains are wired to pay special attention to scary and negative stuff, and we can’t help it. News and social media companies have figured…