Following Elaine Showalter’s concept of media hysteria promoting social disorders and causing public panic, this study argues further that media hysteria is a constant byproduct of the media rather than a temporary symptom as it sustains the mechanism of media industry that represents the attention-economic business. Through the main scope of the psychoanalytic approach, this study identifies individualism, self-reliance, and opportunism as fundamental cultural values that contribute to media hysteria. It is fear of losing the power of rhetoric and the influence on the public, as well as the desire for the public to see the media as heroic truth-tellers, that stimulates media hysteria. This study highlights the strength of reading media texts through the lens of psychoanalytic approach and encourages the modeling of the media dynamic on multiple theories to explain media and cultural phenomena.
Keyword: twitter studies, psychoanalytical approach, political economy, selective exposure theory