It can feel like the world has gotten more dangerous over the last few generations, but more so I think due to technology we’re now more aware of/bombarded with every little terrible thing that happens around the globe, which can amplify that sense of chaos and danger.
My wife and I both sometimes find ourselves comparing notes on headlines we’ve seen. “Did you see the one about the…?” even though hearing/reading about these things makes us heartsick and we hate imagining the reality of it, in a way it feels like vigilance. Accidents happen and you can’t walk around in a constant state of fear, but I think on a basic level we imagine that if we can at least be aware of the things that could go wrong, we might be better prepared to protect against them.
Knowing how behavior-driven social media algorithms are, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re just skewing our article results worse and worse. Click on one article about a riptide drowning accident, and suddenly it looks like the ocean is gobbling kids up left and right if they so much as look at the water.
This is just a parenting example, but we know it happens with everything; politics, conspiracy theories, etc. It’s not hard to imagine why some people lose their grip when viewing the world through one of these biased lenses.