Our evolutionary past prepared us to act on information, but the daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It saps our energy. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitized, sarcastic and fatalistic. If the human brain encounters a barrage of ambiguous information without being able to act upon that information, it can react with passivity and a sense of victimhood. The scientific term is learned helplessness. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I would not be surprised if news consumption at least partially contributes to the widespread disease of depression. Viewed on a timeline, the spread of depression coincides almost perfectly with the growth and maturity of the mass media. Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe the constant onslaught of fire, famine, flood and failure adds to depression, even if these sad reports come from far away.