Unpacking the Influence of Fear on Our Daily Lives

In today’s society, fear plays a huge role and influences many decisions of many people. We see this everywhere, politics, media and even our daily lives. In the article, “3 Roles Fear Plays In Our Lives”, written by Donna Labermeier, fear is talked about as a feeling and identity that is more than just an emotion, as it controls everyone’s lives. Many things in the world are run and controlled by fear since people are simply afraid of the consequences of their actions. Being afraid can easily cause or stop a war, as fear has a lot of power over people and we are not even aware of it. When looking at all the good and bad possibilities that can happen, it is obvious that, fear plays a necessary role in society due to Stability, Peace, and Survival. A concern, terror, and fear keep everything in the world under control.

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When examining the world today, the most evident reason the population is so scared is that of terrorist attacks and war, and how it can and will classify peace as obsolete. Although the world isn’t at war and terrorist attacks are trying to be hidden from the public’s eye, the public themselves are living in fear more than ever before. This is showcased in Lily Rothman’s article, “Why Americans Are More Afraid Than They Used To Be”, where she states, “Nearly three quarters of a century later, a poll released in December found that Americans are more fearful of terrorism than at any point since Sept. 11, 2001. ” (Rothman). Ever since and even before the horrifying events of 9/11, there have been many other terrorist attacks.

These tragic attacks have scared people all over the world and have put them in a position where they have to be cautious about everything. On top of that, the nuclear war threats between The United States and North Korea has put people in fear that World War III can be on the rise. Knowing that, the media has done a lot of damage and are very familiar to putting people in fear as well, as they have twisted a number of terrorist attacks against a specific group of people to blame, and have only raised the possibility of war, all while filling people with Anxiety. This not only leads people to question the long-term future of their country, but also the future of their health and stability. Another role fear plays in people’s lives is the consistency of stability. When thinking about people’s everyday lives, it’s evident that in today’s world some people have been given a good and easy life, but seem to be scared and uncomfortable in new situations. Sometimes, the “new situation” doesn’t cause fear, but anxiety. In his article,“Why We’re Living in the Age of Fear”, Neil Strauss explains, “Where fear is a response to a present threat, anxiety is a more complex and highly manipulable response to something one anticipates might be a threat in the future. ” (Strauss).

Anxiety is always mistaken for fear, yet they mean completely different things. There are many reasons that people of this generation feel so anxious about the world and their lives, but the main reason seems to be the fact that most of them haven’t had to experience difficulty earlier in life. Millennials are said by many people to have an “easy” life, at least compared to people of older generations, as they had to “work for everything they got”. Anxiety is not only popular amongst the younger generation because of stability in life, but also survival in general. In addition to everything I have stated, fear arguably plays the biggest role when it comes to survival. Anxiety and survival directly correlate with each other, since survival instinct can cause you anxiety about unnecessary possibilities. Marc Schoen talks about this in his article, “The Fear Epidemic: Managing the Survival Instinct’s Fear Response”. In the article, he states, “The goal is to rein in the fear center’s influence in our lives. Since our rising levels of discomfort are at the heart of it, it’s important to accept that discomfort is normal. It’s not something to banish or avoid. ” (Schoen). He tries to tell the reader that, yes, the survival instinct is very important and a key to living a good life and a life in general.

However, there does come a time where fear starts controlling someone’s actions in their everyday lives, and that is totally normal. Learning how to manage and decide when it is right to stop and step back is an essential to make a decision, that is good for your well-being and satisfies your pleasure. That is just another one of many roles fear plays in everyones lives. The necessity of fear and its roles can be seen everywhere in media, politics and even our everyday lives. It is obvious that fear plays more than one role in the world, and is really there to keep the world at peace, keep people healthy and help them know when to make a big decision and how to make the right one. A lot of people mistake fear as a bad emotion, but that could not be more wrong. Fear is the response to danger, and being alerted about a senseless act, can save someone’s life. It is designed as a barrier that is always going to be there, to keep people leveled and always have a goal to achieve. Fear is all around us and the only way we would all recognize that is if it was not.

15 April 2020

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