Why solving problems can make those problems seem impossible to solve

Another insightful instalment of the You Are Not So Smart podcast. This Why solving problems can make those problems seem impossible to solve episode resonated with me particularly at the moment, in the proposition that “the more you consume social media, the worse the world seems”. 100% why I’m on a break from it (and most media) myself.

The main concept from the episode is ‘prevalence induced concept change’:

…when the “signal” a person is searching for becomes rare, the person naturally responds by broadening his or her definition of the signal—and therefore continues to find it even when it is not there. 

This concise definition form this study.

Concept two, a version of the first: Mean World Syndrome.

…a phenomenon whereby violence-related content of mass media makes viewers believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is

See also: Chicken Licken.