THE BLOG

We Need More Positivity Online

28/10/2014 13:04 GMT | Updated 28/12/2014 10:59 GMT

It's really easy to write a tweet, a status update or a blog about something that annoys you. The blogs I've written so far have mostly been reaction pieces to news and, reading back, I've found they're not necessarily upbeat.

I was thinking about blogging the other day. I just sort of fell into blogging accidently and I enjoy it. I'm not a proper 'writer' but it's a great way to let off some steam online in more that 140 characters. Although I'm happy with everything I've written so far, I realised that there's not a lot of positivity online and perhaps it was time to write a blog about being more positive.

I'm a realist and I know that serious subjects need to be discussed but all I'm reading every day are negative stories, bad feedback or nasty opinions. It's about time there was some positivity injected back into our online interactions.

I thought about writing this for a few days, I was researching and looking for positive news. The Positive Troll is someone I enjoy following on Twitter. His modem operandi is to only send out tweets that contain positive messages either to celebrities or his fellow Twitter followers. I even read a positive tweet to David Cameron the other day, that's how positive the Positive Troll is! I also came across a positive news site, which only promoted news stories that were progressive and positive. I read through the site and there's a lot of great stuff happening in the world that the main news outlets don't cover.

My most successful blog was for another site and it was quite an alternative viewpoint on the ice bucket challenge. The amount of views and comments on that blog was phenomenal but I quickly realised that people love to argue - we seek out negativity and perpetuate it. I didn't answer any comments on this piece because my belief is not to fight fire with fire. It's best to let people have their say and get on with it. It was't even a negative blog, there was a good message about supporting all charities in there but people read what they wanted from the blog and it turned into something different.

Even the recent Renée Zellweger news about her 'changed face' wasn't about how fresh or new she looked; it was about how 'weird' her face had become. The stories about Zellweger's face had either become critical pieces about how bad it was to look different or the age-old feminist arguments, which quickly can quickly become online slagging matches.

You know what... Who cares? Who actually cares what someone else does with his or her face. Who cares whether someone wants to do the ice bucket challenge or not. There are more important things to worry about.

So, days past and I was about to write this blog and then I got embroiled into two separate random Twitter chats about Batman and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange. It's not often these days that I sit on Twitter to chat or actively look forward to responses but I really enjoyed these little threads.

It reminded me of why we use social networking sites. I like sharing opinions - even if they differ - and debate doesn't always necessarily have to turn sour. Debate is a good thing and interesting debate reminds us how to engage our brains, it expands our minds or sometimes it's just nice to hear what the other side thinks. We don't have to all agree and we can all still be friends.

I also remembered the interactions I had online during the Scottish referendum where I shared some interesting online chat about the Yes/No vote. There was a lot of bitterness and nastiness out there but once I sifted through that, I found there were some really passionate, enlightened people willing to stand up for what they believe without hatred or bias. I learned a lot from some of these interactions, reading tweets and status updates and I even changed my opinion by the end from a No to a Yes!

Of course, there will always be the bad contingency of people online who just want to stir up some trouble but it's these small positive interactions that remind me that not all people are bad, the world isn't always a terrible place and there is good news out there if you're willing to find it. I believe in balance and the problems of the world (and the internet!) should be fought with clear, logical, progressive ideas. It may be idealistic but one can hope.