Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thought for the Day - How To Make Millions or Why 'Bad' News Sells

When it comes to making millions there is but one simple strategy.

"Human beings feel better when they feel superior to others, so give them content that makes them feel superior." 

This is the single point agenda that drives all that we the masses consume. This is why Saas bahu sells more than a spiritual talk or a well informed interview. This is why bad news dominates good news. This is probably also why porn sells more than education.

Because each time we see bad people (stupid people, pathetic people etc), we somehow feel better than them. How can they be like that? We instantly feel better than them in comparison. On the other hand, stuff would be depressing if all we saw were people who were flawless in thought, word and deed and who lived perfect lives. We would feel completely useless then. Between these two scenarios the general public wants to watch the first type - which makes them feel good in comparison without all this extra effort at being 'better'. If I must feel good, all I need is someone worse than me.

When it comes to news, the same principle applies. News agencies can show good news. But good news does not give us this same feeling of being superior to the others. It is only when the worst kinds of news are shown that we feel better about ourselves. The more sensational the news, the more deviant the news, the better we feel. How can they? We can go to sleep feeling better about ourselves - okay we are living pathetic lives but its not as bad as those characters.

Movies, ads, news, television serials - almost all the material we consume on facebook and other social media is about this - how do we feel superior to the others. Its the rare change in beat, an uncharacteristic inspiration that can dominate for a while. But overall evil is more interesting for the simple reason that it makes people feel instantly better.

Why does self-help or get-better not get as popular? Same reason in reverse - it makes you feel less. You feel depressed. If you need a successful self-help story package it so it makes the person feel better in comparison.

Now, go write that bestseller. You may not earn respect (who cares) but you will earn millions.

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