To truly understand social media, we need to keep delving into the emotional underpinnings of what and why people share.
A recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison examines the outlets used by people based on the emotional content of the message.
Researchers found people were most likely to share positive events via texting and Twitter.
These mediums are easy to access via smartphones when they are happening, and are non-intrusive — recipients can reply whenever they like.
About 70% of the events that people experienced and shared were conveyed via new technologies.
Study subjects — 300 university students who kept track of their communications via a daily diary — revealed that sharing using new technologies enhanced the emotional impact of these events.
So much for the good news, literally.
When experiencing negative events, people were more likely to pick up the phone and interrupt friends or family to share.
Add this tidbit to what Facebook recently discovered in its (debatably unethical) study that found a lot of negative information in a person’s newsfeed can inspire them to be negative themselves — and on the flipside good news triggers positivity.
Again and again, positive energy is demonstrating considerable social media power.
While research keeps fine-tuning our understanding of just how emotions work online, in the meantime the message is clear: good news travels fast online.