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My Facebook Experiment

Does the media and big tech intentionally push negative content? I know that I believed so, as getting on Facebook or watching the news always left me feeling negative or down. At some point though, I began to wonder if it was them or if I had something to do with it.

So, I decided to try an experiment where I would only interact with positive content on Facebook. I decided to like posts that were positive or uplifting, comment on positive statuses, or only click on or read things that were positive.

I was amazed at how quickly my Facebook feed changed. Before, there were a lot of negative posts and I saw a lot of political posts that I disagreed with. After a few weeks of changing what I did on Facebook, I would only see positive things when I logged in. Not surprisingly, the positive things tended to not have a lot of likes or comments associated with them.

As I thought about this, I started to think about my interactions on news websites. Prior to the internet, when we received news on TV, radio, or newspapers only, the news companies had to guess what was the story that we wanted and what wasn’t newsworthy. They would incorporate a mix of content.

With the internet though, news companies now know exactly what stories are popular and which ones are not. I often hear people complain that it is the news companies’ fault that there is so much negativity peddled, but as I thought about my own actions, I reflected on what I would do if presented with the two following headlines:

-Father wakes up and goes to work to support his family for the 10,000th time

-Father shoots his wife and children when they are asleep

Admittedly, I would only click on the second, or negative, headline. I likely would not click on the positive story about a father who has been consistent and loyal with his family.

And, if I only click on the negative stories, and the news companies have to stay in business, then they have to focus on the negative, because that is all I am consuming.

As I reflected on this, I realized that I play a part in shaping the world around me, and the world inside of me. If I want positivity in my life, I have to consume positivity. My actions, my choices, the things I view, they all impact others. Most of all though, they impact me and how I feel inside.

The world is full of good. The world is full of beauty. There is hope. To see it, experience it, or feel it though, we have to consume it, we have to intentionally seek it, and we also have to be mindful of the negative so that we don’t consume it.

Ultimately, the things we consume and spend our time on will become a part of us. If we want to be or do good, we need to read and consume good. As we do, even something as simple as our Facebook feed will start to support us in our efforts, and the changes inside of us will then spread to those we interact, work, and live with.


At Believe, we are working to change the world, for good. We work to focus on the positive, build and create good, and be the solution. We would love to have you join us. The world may never be the same.

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