In a shocking announcement, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that everything is actually going to be OK. Their report, released Tuesday, claims that people have developed an unhealthy obsession with bad news, which warps their view of reality, and leaves them prone to histrionic fits of rabid frothing. Instead of worrying about end times, the report claims, people should just kick back, skin up, and listen to Chromeo.
Alternatively, the report suggests, people could worry about things that are actually real, like how the planet is heating dangerously and will struggle to support non-bacterial life in the next century.
The announcement was greeted angrily by news-symbiont pseudo-humans across the political spectrum. Conservative senator Berk McMahon labeled the report “a grave new threat to our national insecurity” and called on all citizens to “hate crime those nerds, stat”.
The study surveyed multiple media sources, asking editors what types of stories their readers wanted. “Bad things not happening is totally boring" said Peter Dingley of Justfugginclickit News. "So what if this is the most peaceful time in human history? Yawn. People prefer Syrian mega-carnage, Zika, ISIS, and mono-browed immigrants with vaguely threatening facial gestures".
But disproportionate exposure to negativity can be misleading, the report claims. "People estimate the likelihood of something happening based upon how often they hear about it, not how often it actually happens," said lead researcher Dr. Tiara Gintley. "It's a mental shortcut that cognitive psychologists call the availability heuristic. We're plugged into this constant newsfeeds of fear, thinking that the sky is falling, when the evidence suggests that the sky is actually not falling".
Referring to deaths from terrorism, the report calculates the annual risk to Americans at a meager one in 3.5 million. This stacks up well against the other pre-eminent threat facing our nation - bathtubs - which take approximately four times as many lives each year.
President Elect Donald Trump reacted to these claims by waving his hands spasmodically and shaking his jowls like Jar Jar Binks . "We have dangerously under-estimated our bathtubs," said a statement released Wednesday. "They're a mess. I will blow the crap out of all our bathrooms."
Addicted to fear?
The report offered an explanation for why we subliminally mindfridge ourselves with this constant procession of human detritus. Monkey brains. Using a combination of sign language, grunts, and scratching, the scientists explained how our brains evolved to attend strongly to perceived threats in order to survive. The problem is, according to the researchers, is that nowadays this outdated survival software constantly triggers anxiety that leaves us fearful and stressed for little reason. The risks are more imagined that real.
But there's hope. The report recommends turning off your computer, going for a walk, visiting your nana, and helping her to pick asparagus.