Keeping up-to-date with the news these days is great way to get depressed. Each day multiple companies are announcing layoffs in the Thousands. The leading indicator - the stock market appears to have settled down but it still takes hits when a few pieces of bad economic news comes out on the same day.
The comparisons between now and previous downturns are relentless. There is one difference. The internet has flattened the world in many ways, both good and bad. News spreads much faster today, and unfortunately bad news trumps good (if it bleeds it leads). We are much more exposed to more negativity than generations before. The economy has been largely quoted as an issue of confidence. With the increase in communication and transparency the economy can suffer much more, much quicker. In a smaller sense the continuous bombardment of bad news can hurt the individual psyche as well. Too much info in dark times can be very painful.
I don't think all is lost. In the same way the internet depresses us quicker, I think it can aid in a quicker recovery as well. Much more meta-discussion and echo points exist due to the internet. Despite our love of bad news we are hopeful and optmistic news can resonate well on the internet. Looking again at the individuals job losses can be an incredibly isolating and lonely event. Having mediums like social networks can do wonders to lift people back up and help them feel connected and optimistic. We're all in this together. Despite the epic lows we seem to be in I think the internet age will change the way the world deals with the ups and downs. We have suffered a very bad blow but together we can recover much faster.
WSJ - Job Loss in the Age of Blogs and Twitter