"We all really want to talk about optimism right now," says Neil Pasricha, author of The Book of Awesome. "There's so much in life to be happy about. And if we don't recognize that, the weight of the world becomes really suffocating really quickly."
Economic malaise is surely a partial driver. Because humans are hardwired to make themselves feel good, experts say it makes sense, biologically, that we'd double our efforts in tough times.
A recent study of some 7,500 newspaper articles finds bad news doesn't really travel fast; readers instead tend to email stories that uplift and amaze. In a recent half-year study of the New York Times' most-emailed articles, University of Pennsylvania researcher Jonah Berger found the more awe-inspiring a story, the greater its likelihood of being passed along.
"The data suggests people don't share things just to entertain or for utility," says Berger. "They do it to emotionally bond."
Thanks to Jay Bedford, PD at Cape Breton's Eagle 103.5 for turning me onto this thought-provoking research article.