Why do we always default to the negative?
I was browsing through my Twitter feed earlier this morning and someone asked the following question.
“Who was the nicest celebrity that you have met and why?”
I thought what an excellent question to ask. So without haste, I had a good dig into the comments in response to this question. I was looking forward to reading all about great celebrities and if it matched my image of them.
The first two comments offered up a lovely couple of names and many likes for Tom Hanks and Matt Damon. A good match for what I thought. Good guys.
Then someone said the following in their reply to the question.
‘I don’t know about nice, but I met xxxx (name withheld because it is the right thing to do), and he was an arrogant b*stard.
Then there was a stream of… this famous person was a pain, this one arrogant, this one a total ars*hole and on and on it went.
The replies were a mile away from the original question.
Admittedly, a couple of people were trying to bring it back to the original question, but they were getting outnumbered.
I reflected on this and was trying to work out why we always end up in this negative state of thinking. I was thinking, did I read the Twitter feed hoping to see the good people or secretly want to hear about some of the baddies amongst the rich and famous.
What do I know? I was thrown off balance with this train of thought.
I have no idea. I like to think I started to read the answers to the tweeted question because I wanted to read the pleasant stuff, but I am unsure. It felt easy to get into the negative. It felt more rewarding at times to see the ‘real person’ behind the public persona.
I was almost apoplectic with some of the names mentioned, and then I realised, who cares. I mean, who really gives a flying f*ck.
Also, these comments are from people who are basing their judgments on some fleeting moment. And I should have known better… because Twitter is a world full of people shouting at each other.
It is a terrible place to hang out, but yet I hang out there. I can get my distorted version of the news and the up-to-date politics of hate right from my Twitter feeds. It is so full of negativity that it bleeds into your brain. I have also found myself getting caught up on the negative gravy train and firing out a comment or two.
I have not met any big celebrity, but it was easy to align with others thinking. I was getting my biases confirmed.
Why do we get caught up in the negative? Why is it our default?
Because I think it takes less work. I think it is easier to fight, argue, and throw out comments that lack some positivity.
It is an easy option. Identify something you don’t like and respond to it negatively because it makes you feel better and it is a straight forward thing to do.
Shout out your own negativity and join the chorus, which is in a sense, your own positive echo chamber – you get back what you want to hear and that makes you feel better.
Even when it is a stream of awful stuff.
Well, here is a thing for you to try. Go ahead and like some of the few positive comments that are out there in the Twitter world. Tick that little love heart icon and let others feel you are looking for the positivity in life.
The Twitter algorithm will throw more pleasant things your way.
If that doesn’t work, try this…
Now, this is a big deal and a big sharing moment for me on this one idea.
I am opening up to you on this, so please be gentle.
So here goes. When you find that the nastiness in the comments and feeds you are reading are getting a lot to get your head beyond, then head over to Instagram.
Go to the Instagram search and type in ‘AGT’, and start to watch the great auditions. The ones where the person comes on and just knocks it out of the park with their talent. Their singing is so good the crowd get on their feet, the judges’ glee with surprise and the performer burst with even more pride and excitement. Everything crescendos into a moment of greatness.
That, for me, is a palate cleanser.
This is how you sooth out the nasty from your Twitter world…
You ram in some high-grade positivity.
Try it, but don’t blame me for the tear in your eye.