Freaked Out Americans Desperately Seek to Escape the News

(From Bloomberg)

Those heightened stress levels are reflected in Americans’ chosen leisure activities. Megan, a web developer in Nashville, has started re-watching “Parks and Recreation” because it’s about goofy, goodhearted people in politics. Jessica, a landscape architect in Boston, tunes out the news with obscure documentaries about the history of toys and cars. Dan, an editor in New York, now watches home renovation shows instead of the news while on the treadmill at the gym. And Rachel, a system designer in Massachusetts, loves “Aerial America” on the Smithsonian Channel…
…Calm, a meditation app, said it’s averaging about 50,000 new downloads a day, up from 40,000 in December. Kampgrounds of America (KOA), the largest organization of private campgrounds in the U.S. and Canada, reports that about 4 million people have started camping since 2016, including an unprecedented number of people of color. Discovery Inc., which owns guilty pleasure networks HGTV, Food Network and TLC, has seen a 12 percent increase in the time viewers spend watching its networks since the 2016 election; the average is now 1.5 hours.
“We hear all the time that people use us to bring their anxiety levels down,” said Kathleen Finch, Discovery’s chief lifestyle brands officer.
Guy’s Grocery Games is a fun apolitical show. We watch it all the time. Just people cooking. It’s nice.