Politics

If We’re Escaping the News, Where are We Going?

Image Credit: Unsplash

The Gist: Feel-good content and escapism genres are starting to take off in our news-saturated culture.


If you’re paying attention to the news right now, you probably know how desperate many Americans are to avoid it altogether. The 24-hour news cycle, bleak events, and a growing understanding of mental health and wellness are leading many to take “breaks” from the news.

But, if Americans aren’t reading about the latest calamity on Twitter, or turning off major news networks, what are they doing?

Let’s take a look at what industry, trends, and brands might be benefiting from news fatigue.

Big Screen Escapism 

In the past quarter, we’ve seen a significant shift in favored movie genres.

From Q2 to Q3 2018, US adults who say action is their favorite movie genre has jumped by more than 14% from 27% to 31%, outpacing comedy movies. This jump makes sense when you look at the box office gross in 2018, where comedy-action films, even the occasional R-rated ones, are breaking records. The adrenaline rush of action flicks might be just what some people need to escape the day-to-day stress. 

Science-Fiction / Fantasy Escapism

Sometimes you need to go to a whole other realm to escape the news. Since Q4 2017, we’ve noticed a steady climb in readership of science-fiction and fantasy books.

From Q4 2017 to Q3 2018, US adults who enjoy reading sci-fi fantasy books has increased by 16%. For some, it seems getting away from it all means diving into a good book.

Soothing and Improving

While some look to escape to a galaxy far far away, others are content with watching someone else’s home renovation.

Since the beginning of the year, watching travel, home, and cooking shows have been on the rise. There’s been about a 4% increase in people watching these shows since early 2018. Nothing like a newly renovated home to soothe the soul.

All this being said, this doesn’t mean the end of following the news. While people are looking for alternatives to unwind, they’re still following the news the same way they have. The average amount of news watched each week hasn’t budged much in the past two years.

So we’re still watching the news, but we might look for other means to de-stress. These times seem to call for feel-good solutions. While the trends are small, we’ll keep an eye out to see if they continue to grow. In the meantime, there’s plenty of action adventures to watch, sci-fi to read, and HGTV to binge.

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