For the past few decades, there has been a popular theory on how media affects us, called "cultivation theory." It posits that the cumulative effect of media saturation is a shaping of how we see our place in the world.
A popular subset of this theory is called "Mean World Syndrome." Heavy users of media (and frankly, we're all pretty much in that boat now) tend to believe that the world is a more dangerous place than it really is.
These ideas aren't particularly new, though perhaps more recently articulated.