Madame de Renal tried to work, and fell into a deep sleep; when she awoke, she was less alarmed than she should have been. She was too happy to be able to take anything amiss. Artless and innocent as she was, this honest provincial had never tormented her soul in an attempt to wring from it some little sensibility to some novel shade of sentiment or distress. Entirely absorbed, before Julien came, in that mass of work which, outside Paris, is the lot of a good wife and mother, Madame de Renal thought about the passions, as we think about the lottery: a certain disappointment and a happiness sought by fools alone.
Stendhal - The Red and the Black (1830)
In modern times we appear to have become entirely familiar with people who torment their souls in an attempt to wring from it some little sensibility to some novel shade of sentiment or distress. Clearly this is not a recent aspect of social life if Stendhal could describe it so acutely nearly two centuries ago, but modern life appears to have made it more widespread.
Staying with Stendhal, perhaps we could say it is more widespread because it is more popular. Taking it even further along the same lines, perhaps we would have to say that this kind of emotional foolishness is more popular. It is certainly popular with the media - they love it.