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People Engage More With Negativity

8th November 2016

Every time my website Live Work Play Japan posts something controversial we get an increase of about 20-30% responses. Most of them are negative, and those negative responses get more (double) negatives. People get into arguments, get annoyed at one another. Hilarity ensues.

But really why do we feel so much more drawn to sharing negativity on social media? We see people sharing many more videos and articles on which presidential candidate they hate than which one they like.

Social media attention has a very short half-life. Very quickly a story becomes old news, even if the people affected by the events we talk so passionately about are still living out those experiences long after we “did our part” by sharing. When was the last time you thought about that boy in the ambulance in Aleppo?

I might argue that we need to talk individually to people if we want to change minds and make a real difference. A video short with easy sharing handles doesn’t really cut it.



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