Objectively, things keep improving. Seriously.
Crime is down. Life expectancy is up. Accidents are down.
Computers are doing more. Medical science is saving lives that would have been lost only ten years ago.
More countries are democracies than ever before. People have more rights than ever before.
Graduation rates are up. Teenage pregnancies are down.
Things are better.
You’d never know this from watching the news, though, for two main reasons:
First, the news stations and the internet sites need you to watch so they blow everything out of proportion to get you to pay attention.
Second, news that never would have gotten attention outside of your local area now is known everywhere. That makes it look like there is something terrible happening every day and gosh darn it, I don’t remember that happening when I was younger! Clearly, things have gotten worse. No, you’re just more aware of it now.
It’s like reports about police brutality. Every day, there is another one, but I’m pretty sure this has always been going on and we’re just hearing about it more now, especially since everyone carries around a portable movie camera in their phones these days.
This is not to say everything is improving. Anti-science movements have censored schoolbooks and brought back diseases that had been practically eliminated. Gun deaths have increased thanks to the lessening of gun control. Income inequality is at the highest it has been since the Great Depression. Forest fires, storms and temperatures are more extreme and deadly thanks to climate change.
But when you sit back and wonder why there seems to be so much bad news these days, remember: There really isn’t. It just seems that way.