Social Media provides us the opportunity to share our life experiences and as we all know, life is not always positive. Everyone goes through ups and downs and sometimes it’s hard to find your way back to the ups but in the end how we choose to view and respond to a situation is up to us. We can either wallow in the negative, choose to ignore the negative, choose to find the positives or make choices that turn the negative into a positive. There are endless options. Is it always easy to find the positive? Nope, it definitely isn’t. However, once we decide to live in a more positive frame of mind things seem to get a little easier.
How does this relate to social media you might ask?
Take for instance the story of Alec Brownstein who was working a job as a copywriter but knew he wanted something more. He found a way to take something that wasn’t making him happy and turned it into a positive by spending a whopping $6 and a few clicks of his computer mouse all with the help of GoogleAdWords. He created the change he wanted.
Alec saw the possibilities to create positive change and took a chance. I really appreciated some of the comments shared in class this week about Alec’s creativity in this situation. I had read the article and admired what he had done but never thought about the idea, as shared by Vanessa Braun, that we may all have the ability and option to do this but having the creative thought process to do it might be what’s truly important.
We may not all have the desire to change our current place in our profession but I am sure we have all wished we could change some of what we see online and specifically on social media. One of the best things about social media is that for the most part, we are in control of what we see and what we participate in. As goes with offline spaces in life too!
When we participate in online spaces we are leaving a mark and adding to our digital identity. In my mind it does not matter what professional or social status you might have, what you put out there is going to come back to you. I do not think that negativity ever wins. It might make you feel better in the moment but long term, you’re going to lose. I would argue that we MUST think about the image we want to create for ourselves and Kevan Lee shared ways to go about this in his post Want to Improve Your Social Media Sharing? Harness the Power of Positivity in Social Media by providing suggestions and facts based on research. In his post he shares some of the research done by Jan Kietzmann, Ian McCarthy and colleagues around the most essential parts of social media. You can check out their findings at
Positive sentiment in your social media updates and in the responses to your brand leads to a positive reputation. – Kevan Lee
In so many aspects of social media, negativity has taken over. Negativity comes in many shapes and forms. It can be in the close knit relationships we have with friends and family online, with acquaintances, businesses and public figures. Just have a look at the current political race happening here in Saskatchewan election. We have politicians slinging negative comments back and forth at each other.
— Cam Broten (@cambroten) March 11, 2016
— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) March 18, 2016
I would be amiss if I didn’t also share some of the positive interactions both parties have shared as well.
— Victoria Dyck (@mrsvdyck) March 19, 2016
Great visits (and great treats) at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market today. pic.twitter.com/hn9Asj9UGM
— Cam Broten (@cambroten) March 19, 2016
Now I don’t proclaim to be someone that understands politics and the science behind it but I do wonder whether the negativity is something that is worth the repercussions. I also understand that this is just one example and there are many examples of positive interactions out there as well. Politicians, public figures and businesses have the power to influence and captivate their audience with just a few short words. Ashley Williams, CEO of RIZZARR offers up some suggestions on 5 Ways We Can All Generate More Positivity Online. Perhaps if we all (politicians, public figures and businesses) decided to share a little more of the positive and work to create online spaces void of judgement and criticism while still allowing for individuality we just might end up building each other up instead of tearing each other down.