So – 2 things has been lurking in the back of my mind whenever I scrolled through my Facebook feed.
1 – Are we either positive or negative when we update on Facebook, or do we also update when we are just content (neutral)?
2 – Do we tend to be more positive or negative when updating?
See, my thesis was, that even though we Danes are considered to be some of the happiest people on the planet, we have an amazing ability to complain about anything and everything. Be it the weather, prices on fuel, going to work, not having work, getting no snow in the winter, getting too much snow in the winter, not getting enough sun in the summer, getting too much sun in the summer – there will always be something.
And we are excellent at pointing out whenever something could or should be better, or just different. The question is: has this “feature” in our mindset taken so much control of our lives, that it is visible to others? And do we risk to be coming across more negative than we actually are?
And if we do come across more negative than we actually are, is this caused by one of our other “Danish features”; irony, and our sense of humor, which doesn’t always catch on everywhere we go?
So my completely non-scientific approach to the questions above, was to scroll through 100 updates in my Facebook feed, and marking them either positive, negative, neutral or humorous. Some might consider all humorous updates to be positive, and I tend to agree. However, humor is a “dangerous” thing, and even though the thought behind it was positive, it might not have come across as positive. In addition I wanted to differentiate between positive and posting jokes, funny videos etc.
Now – far from everyone posts their own stuff on Facebook, and therefore it will be hard to “measure” their state of mind. So I agreed with me, myself and I, that I would include likes and comments into the statistic. Cause if you click like to something, you sort of nod your head and agree or adopt the thought / post into your own mind / feed. This also means, that pressing Like to any negative update, will count as a negative update in this statistic.
So without going into too much detail about the definitions, the results are in..
Not much can be said about it – numbers doesn’t lie. A whopping 58 percent of all updates was positive, in addition 11 was humorous and 24 neutral. Now the neutral category was things shared without any comments, and most of these updates was information shared about work/education, or sharing to participate in a contest etc.
Put together this leaves only 7 percent to negative updates. Most people should be able to cope with that, without letting it “rub off” on them. The numbers can be seen here: Facebook statistics
So, to answer the initial two questions:
1 – We also update Facebook when we are just content (neutral).
2 – We tend to be more positive when updating Facebook.
So how could the thought of too much negativity in my Facebook feed ever occur in my mind? I usually think of myself as a pretty positive personality. But maybe I was the one who had too much negativity in my mindset when going through the feed? So I quickly went through my own updates – 2 updates could be considered negative in the first 50 updates. Same pattern as the statistic.
My conclusion on the matter is that negativity fills so much more than positivity. Meaning one (1) negative thought (or post in this case) needs more than 8.29 positive posts to be neutralized. That’s in my mind of course, but it may be true in yours as well.
Scientific or not, think of this when you update your status next time. 1 negative post will kill at least 8.29 positive.
Now was this a positive addition to my blog? Hmm..