Monday Musing: Worst Year Ever?

Ah, 2017, a new year and a new beginning for people who felt last year just wasn’t up to snuff. A lot of people entered this year with the idea that last year was somehow the worst year ever. For the longest time I thought it was just hyperbole in jest, a little poking of fun at the various misfortunes that happened, but eventually it became very clear that people meant it. Many were convinced that somehow the year itself was just so unrelentingly bad that it surpassed all previous bad years. To the internet, in particular, the idea that 2016 was a terrible year is just accepted fact. So, to all those relieved the year is over, here’s to a clean slate!

But I’ve never been too attached to the idea that the particular year really means anything. Trends happen across large periods of time, not just within the confines of a particular year, so no one year is really any better or worse than any year around it. And a lot of people have gone around picking at the idea 2016 was the “worst year” and found that it wasn’t actually as bad as people thought it was. Do a quick search and you’ll find dozens of articles and hundreds of social media accounts listing off the long list of reasons 2016 wasn’t so bad.

So that left me with a question that I realized hadn’t been asked too often: if the year wasn’t really that bad, why did everyone think it was? And, more importantly for this blog, what does it tell us about human nature? Continue reading Monday Musing: Worst Year Ever?