If you are like most of us, stopping by to check out what your friends are up to on Facebook is a daily occurrence. In fact, 757 million of us do it every day. For some, Facebook is a way to keep in touch with family and friends, but for the vast majority of us, it seems to have become a dumping ground for all the bad things that happen in our lives.
A quick scroll through your newsfeed will likely present you with the woes of the world - including the personal pet peeves of all your friends. You may rationalize that this is no worse than reading the paper or watching the news and that it really doesn’t affect you. According to a study conducted by social scientists from Cornell, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Facebook, it does.
This study revealed that when people are exposed to negative posts they in turn begin to use more negative words in their own posts. When they are exposed to positive posts, they begin to use more positive words. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that some of that carries over into real life.
So what is a person to do when their Facebook timeline takes a negative turn? You could get off Facebook, of course, but for many of us that’s not a realistic option. We have friends and family to keep up with and aren’t willing to close that line of communication. But, there are other things you can do.
- · Create a group for like-minded people – or family – and use that as your primary means of communication.
- · Block negative posts from your newsfeed. If one of your friends insists on spewing the negative on your newsfeed, take the initiative to click the down arrow, located at the extreme right of their user name on a post, and click “Stop seeing posts, but stay friends.” Your friend will never know that you aren't reading all her posts and you can still contact her whenever you want.
- · Find new friends. Actively seek out new friends who share your interests and outlook on life.
- · Start posting positive posts. Research shows that your positive posts are infectious too. They may be enough to turn things around for that Negative Nelly in your group of friends.
Today, I am grateful for a full night’s sleep, for a refreshed body and a clear, sound mind. I am grateful for a hot shower to wash away the sleep, for clean clothes and for shoes.
I am grateful for my computer that serves me well, for spring rain that refreshes the earth and for the magic of seeds that burst forth into new plants.
I am grateful for the family I was born into, for the family I created and for friends I have made along the way.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you find much success in eliminating the negative from your world. Remember the words of Joyce Myer today, “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”