I spent an hour the other night writing a ranty/funny article that I thought was really clever. But, I never posted it to my blog. Just minutes before I was about to publish it, I gave my husband a quick run down of the highlights. He listened carefully, and then scratched his head and said, “I think it’s funny, but no, don’t do it, you’re going to offend a lot of people… we need to keep things positive.“
Wait, what?! Ahhhh, he was right.
It’s so hard to keep from getting sucked into the negativity on the internet because it’s so abundant! Shocking news headlines, eight hundred and twenty reasons why you should do this or that, ridiculous google ads and facebook pages making controversial statements that scream “LIKE ME” or “SHARE ME” or “LEAVE A COMMENT THAT WILL ANNOY SOMEONE ELSE” that way everyone wants to leave a comment!!! The internet is a hectic place. When I see other bloggers and writers or websites getting lots of attention for writing negative shock type media things, it sucks me in and makes me want to start copying their style! Ah! No!!! I can’t! I shan’t!
I mean, it really is true, people are drawn to read and share things that have a negative vibe… anytime I put a semi-negative phrase or word in one of my article title’s like, ‘screwed up’ or ‘stupid‘ or use absolute statements like ‘always‘ or ‘never‘, or ‘You’ll won’t believe this!!!’, I get significantly higher views and shares on that post. People complain that the news is always negative… but can we really blame the media? The media knows what we tune into.
Newspapers keep track of what headlines sell. TV channels and radio have a good idea of how many listeners tune into their shows. But, the internet is freaking Big Brother. It’s easy for websites to count exactly how many views each and every single story has received. All the advertisements that you click on get counted. Facebook is probably the most transparent. Anyone who has a Facebook page, like for a business or blog, can see exactly how many times a photo or post has been seen. For example, I posted a silly photo on my blog’s tiny Facebook page and I know that it has been viewed over 160,000 times! I’m not saying that you should be paranoid… it’s not like they’re coming to get you… But, do know that the internet keeps a tally on what topics draw people in, and it doesn’t take a marketing expert to understand what sorts of stories get more attention.
Of course, not everything out there on the internet is negative. There are plenty of hilarious, beautiful, useful and resourceful things out there. I mean, the internet is the world at our fingertips and I cannot tell you the amount of hugely valuable things I have come across because of it. And not everything you read or share on the internet SHOULD be positive… because there are certainly negative stories that need to be shared!
But, what do we choose to read, comment on and share, that is really the question. I know, I get sucked in so easily to things that seem ‘juicy‘ and then I feel compelled to click or write a comment to give my point of view. And, then I think, oh, who cares, so what, this article or post has already been viewed millions of times, who cares if I click or comment on it. My one little click or comment won’t matter either way… right? Well… maybe that one click or comment does matter? Because if we all stopped doing it… well then, it would all add up, wouldn’t it? We might end up sending a message to the media that we don’t want to read garbage on the internet…
I was reminded of this from another blogger friend of mine, Megganmama: They say that whatever you share will also grow in your life. If you share your joy, your joy in increase. If you share your misery, that too will increase. From now on, I need to make a much bigger effort to share, click and comment more wisely!
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