There’s a lot to be concerned about, but we must be careful
I couldn't agree more on your thoughts about "pushing the panic button" prematurely and in regard to every social issue we are facing (AI being a huge one right now). People are going to end up in self-fulfilling prophecies regarding their worries which, I think you are correct in believing, will cause people to hide away in their corners and echo chambers, furthering polarization. I also think a lot of that negativity and noise is being astroturfed because it is emotionally enticing and draws people into engagement, so there's a corporate incentive to all that noise on top of a politcal one.
I hope we get more people pushing back, calming people down, and getting the media and its consumers to act like adults again, at least when it comes to solving large, societal problems (but maybe we never did that in the first place).