SOCIAL MEDIA


Author:
Clinical Psychologist

Photo from here

"If there are two choices of news topic that you can read, the first talks about money politic or political corruptions, and the second talks about a child who wins regional competition, which topic would you prefer?"

" If we heard news from our colleagues about a man who committed suicide by jumping off from 30th floor of the building and a woman, Indonesia representative, who successfully speaks up her idea in front of the world, which one will steal our attention? Or more precise, which one will affect our emotion more?"

News is no more expensive for us. It was precious in the past, but not for today, after the rise of the internet. The internet not only provides speed (like only a millisecond), easy and cheap access, but also provides many topics of the news that we can consume. This choices gives us freedom  to enjoy "the news menu" according to our preference. The news producer cannot fully control our choice, however hard they try,  since the choices is ours. But why, even with this freedom, the negative news tends to make us curious and steal our attention more than the positive one? And why we react quicker to the negative news?

Marc Turssler and Stuart Soroka from Mc Gill University, Canada, try to answer the question by doing some research. The result speaks that people have a tendency to pay attention more to news with negative tones. Most of samples in the research decided to search and read negative news although no one told them to do so. The same result is coming from Cambrige University Press Data about Negativity in Democratic Politics. It concludes, from the data processing, that there is a significant sale improvement (about 30%) experienced by Macean's weekly newsstand magazine when it contains the negative news in it covers. The recent phenomenon emphasizes this result by showing us how the negative news like corruptions, disaster, prostitution, and many more attrack our attention, affect our emotion and also motivate us to react. So, why it happens that way?

Photo from here

Negativity bias - do people dedicate their attention to focus on negative things?

Negativity bias is a psychological principle of the power of negative things as the cause is more effective than the positive one. In simple words, the negatives steal our attention and affect ourselves more effectively than the positives. We only need one simple negative thing to ruin our mind and switch our attention from several positive things. We can apply this principle in many conditions. When someone is enjoying the party with her fellas (positive things) and all of the sudden feels sad only because realizing that some friend gossiping about her behind her back. She just ignores all the positive things only for one negative thing absorbed into her mind in a second. The other sample is a very common event, when someone decided to hate her/his mate only because she/he made a stupid mistake. This someone take all the negative things in her/his mate and forget all the positive things before. Those negativity biases also happen when we face news. We aware more of the negative news and we will try harder to understand it.

This tendency (why it occurs) explained by John T. Cacioppo in his research about brain performance when someone faces the negative and the positive news. According to the result, human brain shows the higher sensitivity when receiving negative information. Our brain reacts faster and stronger when receiving the negative news. This reaction comes naturally as the effort to protect ourselves. We need to process negative news and use it as a consideration to take a step to avoid the negatives. Thats why we pay more attention to it. In the past, people survived by avoiding dangers, so that human  brain conditioned to compile the news and make the avoidance strategy. Unconsciously, we believe that only by understanding the bad news we can avoid  bad things happen to us.

Photo from here

This explanation may direct us to believe that the negativity bias is necessary. But actually, it has some disadvantages, especially when we continue conditioned by it without any control from ourselves.  When we continue focusing on the negative news, we tend to overgeneralize the negative news as the current condition of the world, or worse, as the definition of our life. Finally we live in fear. We see everything in pessimistic perspective. Furthermore, some people take the advantage of negativity bias on the people around them to reach their goal. Fear mongering is coming from using the negativity bias as the strategy to get people attention. The fact spoke that many of us attached (attention or emotion) to the negatives. As the result, we choose to avoid the risk than to try the opportunity. In the end, negativity bias hinders our steps or even points us to take wrong steps.

All of these explanations aim us to take control of our focus on something. Aside from understanding about negativity bias, we need to control it by :

1.       Balancing the input received by our brain by paying attention to the positive news. Get used to search good news and let our brain understand and process it as a strength and a courage (two variables that we need to rise and shine). A neuropsychologist, Rick Hanson P.hD explained that  tilting towards is a strategy to control the negativity bias.
2.       Trying to enjoy and search for the meaning of every good news we get. It is not easy to empathize on something that has nothing to do with us, but it isn't a rocket science tho.
3.       Trying to stop spreading bad news, principally if there is no advantage that we can get from it. Except we may  spread fear to others by spreading negative news, we also sink our mind deeper in negativity.


Why Do People Dedicate Their Attention To Focus On Negative News?

11/03/19


Author:
Clinical Psychologist

Photo from here

"If there are two choices of news topic that you can read, the first talks about money politic or political corruptions, and the second talks about a child who wins regional competition, which topic would you prefer?"

" If we heard news from our colleagues about a man who committed suicide by jumping off from 30th floor of the building and a woman, Indonesia representative, who successfully speaks up her idea in front of the world, which one will steal our attention? Or more precise, which one will affect our emotion more?"

News is no more expensive for us. It was precious in the past, but not for today, after the rise of the internet. The internet not only provides speed (like only a millisecond), easy and cheap access, but also provides many topics of the news that we can consume. This choices gives us freedom  to enjoy "the news menu" according to our preference. The news producer cannot fully control our choice, however hard they try,  since the choices is ours. But why, even with this freedom, the negative news tends to make us curious and steal our attention more than the positive one? And why we react quicker to the negative news?

Marc Turssler and Stuart Soroka from Mc Gill University, Canada, try to answer the question by doing some research. The result speaks that people have a tendency to pay attention more to news with negative tones. Most of samples in the research decided to search and read negative news although no one told them to do so. The same result is coming from Cambrige University Press Data about Negativity in Democratic Politics. It concludes, from the data processing, that there is a significant sale improvement (about 30%) experienced by Macean's weekly newsstand magazine when it contains the negative news in it covers. The recent phenomenon emphasizes this result by showing us how the negative news like corruptions, disaster, prostitution, and many more attrack our attention, affect our emotion and also motivate us to react. So, why it happens that way?

Photo from here

Negativity bias - do people dedicate their attention to focus on negative things?

Negativity bias is a psychological principle of the power of negative things as the cause is more effective than the positive one. In simple words, the negatives steal our attention and affect ourselves more effectively than the positives. We only need one simple negative thing to ruin our mind and switch our attention from several positive things. We can apply this principle in many conditions. When someone is enjoying the party with her fellas (positive things) and all of the sudden feels sad only because realizing that some friend gossiping about her behind her back. She just ignores all the positive things only for one negative thing absorbed into her mind in a second. The other sample is a very common event, when someone decided to hate her/his mate only because she/he made a stupid mistake. This someone take all the negative things in her/his mate and forget all the positive things before. Those negativity biases also happen when we face news. We aware more of the negative news and we will try harder to understand it.

This tendency (why it occurs) explained by John T. Cacioppo in his research about brain performance when someone faces the negative and the positive news. According to the result, human brain shows the higher sensitivity when receiving negative information. Our brain reacts faster and stronger when receiving the negative news. This reaction comes naturally as the effort to protect ourselves. We need to process negative news and use it as a consideration to take a step to avoid the negatives. Thats why we pay more attention to it. In the past, people survived by avoiding dangers, so that human  brain conditioned to compile the news and make the avoidance strategy. Unconsciously, we believe that only by understanding the bad news we can avoid  bad things happen to us.

Photo from here

This explanation may direct us to believe that the negativity bias is necessary. But actually, it has some disadvantages, especially when we continue conditioned by it without any control from ourselves.  When we continue focusing on the negative news, we tend to overgeneralize the negative news as the current condition of the world, or worse, as the definition of our life. Finally we live in fear. We see everything in pessimistic perspective. Furthermore, some people take the advantage of negativity bias on the people around them to reach their goal. Fear mongering is coming from using the negativity bias as the strategy to get people attention. The fact spoke that many of us attached (attention or emotion) to the negatives. As the result, we choose to avoid the risk than to try the opportunity. In the end, negativity bias hinders our steps or even points us to take wrong steps.

All of these explanations aim us to take control of our focus on something. Aside from understanding about negativity bias, we need to control it by :

1.       Balancing the input received by our brain by paying attention to the positive news. Get used to search good news and let our brain understand and process it as a strength and a courage (two variables that we need to rise and shine). A neuropsychologist, Rick Hanson P.hD explained that  tilting towards is a strategy to control the negativity bias.
2.       Trying to enjoy and search for the meaning of every good news we get. It is not easy to empathize on something that has nothing to do with us, but it isn't a rocket science tho.
3.       Trying to stop spreading bad news, principally if there is no advantage that we can get from it. Except we may  spread fear to others by spreading negative news, we also sink our mind deeper in negativity.



Muharini Aulia (Clinical Psychologist)


What So Called Quarter Life Crisis and How to face it

Being an adult is something that many teenagers dream of. The freedom and the independence in many aspect of life that follow adulthood, is one of the reason why teenagers are giving their best to reach that phase. Having control is the key (or they think it is the key) to pass the adolescent crisis. But once they reach adulthood, they realize it contain a series of new questions and responsibilities. Adult world “speaks” about freedom in different way. A way that, sometimes, force them to “escape from” instead of “go for” freedom. It is all due to their new rules and new task in a new society.

In the bigger picture, we all knew that “the core dialectic” in early adult is intimacy vs. isolation. Theoretically, an adult have a duty to find someone he/she loves and a job that he/she good at, then experience real intimacy with both. Some of early adult have found their dream job and committed in relationship, some still look for a better position, and the rest still try to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Whatever their situations are, any adult can face a crisis that precipitated by a simple question “is this it?”


What so called “quarter life crisis”
“I am 26. I just finished my master studies in Biology with a perfect A. Now I am working as lecturer at one of the best university in my country. It seems like I am on the top of my young life. Yet, I often feel empty while doing my job. I woke up in the middle of the night, questioning, is this the life I really want? Is this it? ”.

“I still can’t figure out what I’m doing here, in this world. I have no job and gorgeous boyfriend. I feel nothing but totally lost. It’s funny though, I am 30 and I can only describe myself by the word ‘LOST’.”

So now we know the other kind of crisis in human life span besides the adolescent, midlife and late life crisis. It is a quarter life crisis, a crisis that commonly occurs during the age 25 to 35. An adult who experiences this crisis feels confused and lost and scared to take another step in his/her life. There are two forms of quarter life crisis, locked out crisis and locked in crisis. Let’s talk about the former before the latter.

The former happened when someone attempt to find the role in adult life and realize that he/she unable to get what he/she wants. The second example above simply describes this form of crisis. In this crises, some may experience repeated rejections by people, partner or even job. It leads to emotional instability and inferiority. This situation also makes us think that we are not good enough, that we can’t go through this hardship, hence we feel lost.

Meanwhile, the latter happened when someone already made one or more commitments then realize that they don’t really want it. The first example describes this condition perfectly. Someone who experience this crisis feels frustrated and being trapped. He/she continuously questioning “is this it?” “Is this the reason why I live?”. It is very common now to find this crisis case among us. How many times we heard the break up news about the cancelled wedding with “He is not the one I really want to spend my life with” as the reason? How often we witness someone feels stuck in his job and has no idea what he wants to do once he resigned from his office?. Locked in crisis involves inner conflict within one self. On one side, he/she wants to disconnect with anything he/she doubted. And on the other side, he/she scared that this change brings nothing but failure in his/her adult life.

To understand better about the locked in crisis, we need to know the 4 phases in this crisis, those are :
·         The first phase, a young adult finds himself or herself having committed to a particular relationship, job and/or social group, but comes to the realization that this commitment is not in Fact what they want in the long term (Robinson). In this phase, we think that we should not do or take or choose whatever we have done, taken or chosen. We feel stuck in our real life and wondering what if we have an alternative life. This thought will lead us to the second phase, “the emotional peak of crisis”
·         In the second phase, a young adult takes a real step to leave his/her commitments. This big step makes us feel that we lose our identity. We feel scared, angry and guilty. We, again, start questioning about the meaning of our existence. Once we start trying a new way, or taking a new step, we are in the third phase of the crisis.
·         The third phase happened when a young adult adopt a new lifestyle. We explore something new and experience another possibilities. We redesign our values and find a new roles. During this phase, we feel emotionally unstable so we try wholeheartedly to go back to a stable track.
·         When a young adult successfully define his/her new roles, values and goals, they experience the fourth phase of the crisis.

Anyone who experienced the quarter life crisis, have their own personal process to go through it. One may need a short time to find an “exit door”, while the other need to go back to the first phase after trying many things in the third phase, before they committed to the change they’ve made, enjoy they new roles and responsibilities and experience inner peace. Some may suffer a very hard crisis, while the other only need to make a simple step to face the crisis.

One thing we have to underline is that a quarter life crisis is normal. Many people out there pass it and miraculously transform into a better version of themselves. To aware that a quarter life crisis does exist and to understand that it is normal to experience it, are the first way to win the battle. The other ways we can take to pass the crisis are :
·         Don’t ignore it, it happened!
Neglecting the crisis wouldn’t make you feel better. There is nothing to do but to accept the situation and do something to face it.
·         Give yourself a try, not only cry!
In the moment when we feel lost, or scared, or we think that we will stuck in this point forever, please with pleasure give some try to pass it. Don’t just ruminate our condition. Ruminating only offers us the stronger negative feeling that will weaken us. 
·         Don’t run, just take a careful and definite walk
For someone in a quarter life crisis, there are thousand questions that need the answers. Seems like we have to solve a great enigma, or escape the maze. So be careful!! Don’t take a reckless step by running in the hallway. Just walk with a clear mind and a careful consideration. 
·         Take some time to meet our life aspiration
Everyone has their life aspiration. It could be about family, creativity, or any other variables. These life aspiration (in an idea) will remind us what really important in our lives and clarify what we should take or not take.
·         Start comparing ourselves today with ourselves yesterday.
In other words, stop comparing ourselves with others. We will stay lost if we use other people’s point to determine our life track. We can start in the same point but we probably choose a different destination. We potentially have the same aim but we take a different way to reach it. To find a right direction, pay attention to our own maps!!



Reference
Robinson, O. (2015). Emerging Adulthood, Early Adulthood, and Quarter-Life Crisis: Updating Erikson for the Twenty-first Century. In R. Zukauskiene (Ed). Emerging Adulthood in A European Context (pp 17-30). New York: Routledge.



Quarter-Life Crisis

11/01/19


Muharini Aulia (Clinical Psychologist)


What So Called Quarter Life Crisis and How to face it

Being an adult is something that many teenagers dream of. The freedom and the independence in many aspect of life that follow adulthood, is one of the reason why teenagers are giving their best to reach that phase. Having control is the key (or they think it is the key) to pass the adolescent crisis. But once they reach adulthood, they realize it contain a series of new questions and responsibilities. Adult world “speaks” about freedom in different way. A way that, sometimes, force them to “escape from” instead of “go for” freedom. It is all due to their new rules and new task in a new society.

In the bigger picture, we all knew that “the core dialectic” in early adult is intimacy vs. isolation. Theoretically, an adult have a duty to find someone he/she loves and a job that he/she good at, then experience real intimacy with both. Some of early adult have found their dream job and committed in relationship, some still look for a better position, and the rest still try to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Whatever their situations are, any adult can face a crisis that precipitated by a simple question “is this it?”


What so called “quarter life crisis”
“I am 26. I just finished my master studies in Biology with a perfect A. Now I am working as lecturer at one of the best university in my country. It seems like I am on the top of my young life. Yet, I often feel empty while doing my job. I woke up in the middle of the night, questioning, is this the life I really want? Is this it? ”.

“I still can’t figure out what I’m doing here, in this world. I have no job and gorgeous boyfriend. I feel nothing but totally lost. It’s funny though, I am 30 and I can only describe myself by the word ‘LOST’.”

So now we know the other kind of crisis in human life span besides the adolescent, midlife and late life crisis. It is a quarter life crisis, a crisis that commonly occurs during the age 25 to 35. An adult who experiences this crisis feels confused and lost and scared to take another step in his/her life. There are two forms of quarter life crisis, locked out crisis and locked in crisis. Let’s talk about the former before the latter.

The former happened when someone attempt to find the role in adult life and realize that he/she unable to get what he/she wants. The second example above simply describes this form of crisis. In this crises, some may experience repeated rejections by people, partner or even job. It leads to emotional instability and inferiority. This situation also makes us think that we are not good enough, that we can’t go through this hardship, hence we feel lost.

Meanwhile, the latter happened when someone already made one or more commitments then realize that they don’t really want it. The first example describes this condition perfectly. Someone who experience this crisis feels frustrated and being trapped. He/she continuously questioning “is this it?” “Is this the reason why I live?”. It is very common now to find this crisis case among us. How many times we heard the break up news about the cancelled wedding with “He is not the one I really want to spend my life with” as the reason? How often we witness someone feels stuck in his job and has no idea what he wants to do once he resigned from his office?. Locked in crisis involves inner conflict within one self. On one side, he/she wants to disconnect with anything he/she doubted. And on the other side, he/she scared that this change brings nothing but failure in his/her adult life.

To understand better about the locked in crisis, we need to know the 4 phases in this crisis, those are :
·         The first phase, a young adult finds himself or herself having committed to a particular relationship, job and/or social group, but comes to the realization that this commitment is not in Fact what they want in the long term (Robinson). In this phase, we think that we should not do or take or choose whatever we have done, taken or chosen. We feel stuck in our real life and wondering what if we have an alternative life. This thought will lead us to the second phase, “the emotional peak of crisis”
·         In the second phase, a young adult takes a real step to leave his/her commitments. This big step makes us feel that we lose our identity. We feel scared, angry and guilty. We, again, start questioning about the meaning of our existence. Once we start trying a new way, or taking a new step, we are in the third phase of the crisis.
·         The third phase happened when a young adult adopt a new lifestyle. We explore something new and experience another possibilities. We redesign our values and find a new roles. During this phase, we feel emotionally unstable so we try wholeheartedly to go back to a stable track.
·         When a young adult successfully define his/her new roles, values and goals, they experience the fourth phase of the crisis.

Anyone who experienced the quarter life crisis, have their own personal process to go through it. One may need a short time to find an “exit door”, while the other need to go back to the first phase after trying many things in the third phase, before they committed to the change they’ve made, enjoy they new roles and responsibilities and experience inner peace. Some may suffer a very hard crisis, while the other only need to make a simple step to face the crisis.

One thing we have to underline is that a quarter life crisis is normal. Many people out there pass it and miraculously transform into a better version of themselves. To aware that a quarter life crisis does exist and to understand that it is normal to experience it, are the first way to win the battle. The other ways we can take to pass the crisis are :
·         Don’t ignore it, it happened!
Neglecting the crisis wouldn’t make you feel better. There is nothing to do but to accept the situation and do something to face it.
·         Give yourself a try, not only cry!
In the moment when we feel lost, or scared, or we think that we will stuck in this point forever, please with pleasure give some try to pass it. Don’t just ruminate our condition. Ruminating only offers us the stronger negative feeling that will weaken us. 
·         Don’t run, just take a careful and definite walk
For someone in a quarter life crisis, there are thousand questions that need the answers. Seems like we have to solve a great enigma, or escape the maze. So be careful!! Don’t take a reckless step by running in the hallway. Just walk with a clear mind and a careful consideration. 
·         Take some time to meet our life aspiration
Everyone has their life aspiration. It could be about family, creativity, or any other variables. These life aspiration (in an idea) will remind us what really important in our lives and clarify what we should take or not take.
·         Start comparing ourselves today with ourselves yesterday.
In other words, stop comparing ourselves with others. We will stay lost if we use other people’s point to determine our life track. We can start in the same point but we probably choose a different destination. We potentially have the same aim but we take a different way to reach it. To find a right direction, pay attention to our own maps!!



Reference
Robinson, O. (2015). Emerging Adulthood, Early Adulthood, and Quarter-Life Crisis: Updating Erikson for the Twenty-first Century. In R. Zukauskiene (Ed). Emerging Adulthood in A European Context (pp 17-30). New York: Routledge.



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