There was a Planet Money episode that ran earlier this year or last year (it might have been a re-run) that I can't find that explained why we all feel so unsafe relative to the way we used to feel when the reality is that we are actually safer today than we used to be.
When I was growing up the adults would kick the kids out of the house on weekends -- "GO PLAY" -- and we weren't expected back till dinner. We would get in all kinds of trouble, but no one got seriously hurt. I guess the parents trusted that other adults would watch out for their kids, or that kids even though we were immature were actually full human beings with a strong instinct of self-preservation.
But more important, according to the Planet Money experts, we weren't constantly hearing stories on cable news (it didn't exist then) or on the Internet (ditto) about people who's lives had been destroyed because the safety net wasn't 100 percent.
I wish I could find the Planet Money episode, I think everyone should hear this. It's safer now than it used to be. We don't have to give up all our rights or hide in our homes to stay safe. And we don't have to elect a police state.
Basically we over-communicate, which is fine, but we believe that what we hear in a super-concentrated manner, somehow will affect us directly, when it's as likely as winning a lottery. The Law of Averages is on our side.