You know when your around a friend who is crying, and you get upset? Or, negative nancies who just always complain, and it makes you want to bitch then to??
Well, there is a new study posted in the journal PLOS One, that says these feelings can even be spread on Facebook.
“Researchers wanted to see what happened when an independent, emotion-triggering variable popped up in the world, so they tracked negative and positive emotions expressed in Facebook statuses in cities where it was raining. No huge surprise, but they found that when someone posted a whiny weather status, it actually led to additional negative statuses among their social network, even when their buds lived in cities where it wasn’t raining.”
I know when my Facebook is full of weather whining statuses it makes me feel a little down, especially because I have been in winter for like four months, with freezing temperatures for months on end; it gets depressing. I’m ready for our like three months of summer.
“But here’s the really cool, and kind of warm-fuzzy, thing — as contagious as negativity was online,positivity was even more contagious. That’s right: every time someone posted something happy, it caused a higher number of happy posts than the number of sad posts stemming from other sad posts. (No word on what kind of happy stuff those crazy kids were posting about the rain. “Love my Hunter boots,” maybe?)”
This I find true too, because when we do have our three months of summer Facebook is normally a happy place, you know unless your sick.
I feel this is useful information. I don’t always like to go all #firstworldproblmes, yes I know there are a lot of problems (my sociology classes point this out very well), and yes I think these problems need to be fixed, but this study just goes to show, again, the power of words. The power of influence.
“Each of us should realize our ‘network power’ when we are deciding what to do since we potentially influence dozens of other people,” Fowler says. “I personally believe that if you tell someone they don’t influence anyone, they won’t take nearly as much responsibility for their own actions as they do when you tell them they influence many other people.”