I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word news, I often think of crime, kidnappings, shootings, bridges collapsing, earthquakes, wars, fraud, abuse or someone important passing away. So it’s safe to say that the way I view the news is slanted toward doom and gloom. I don’t think I’m the only one. When you turn on the television, there are images of people crying because a one-year-old child was killed alongside his dad in a senseless act of murder, bullet holes stamped on the walls and a pool of blood drying on the mattress. The images are powerful, but having seen them too often, they leave me desensitized.
Luckily, a new trend is emerging because of social media. Researchers have found that people seek and share positive stories with their friends and followers. As a result, the news is becoming less mean. With 14 million visits, the most read article of all time is not about a celebrity baby or the latest politician caught in the act but rather a series of photos called “21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity.”
From my own observation in creating content and sharing stories for my clients’ social media accounts, the articles people will click on and share are the human stories of hope and overcoming. While so many will say that any attention is good attention, this new trend shows that not all news is good news, especially when shares are involved. Everyone talks about strategies on how to make a story go viral. Sharing with friends is the key, and the way to do that is not through malicious rants, gossip or negativity but rather through hopeful solutions and allowing for readers to feel that they can make a difference at the end of the day. Good news may even surprise you, like the passengers on this video of a guy in a New York subway.
Maybe it’s time to rethink how to write our stories to reflect more of the best of the human experience.