Cascades of Kindness

In the terms of a network, spreading a hopeful message or even information about a charity, kind messages spread faster. If you get on Twitter and everyone is sharing average everyday tweets, the introduction of positive posts could likely start trending. Think about the recent events in Boston. Angry tweets were not retweeted (or adopted) but tweets with the hashtags #prayforboston or #standwithboston were heavily retweeted. For people or companies trying to gain popularity, merely spreading uplifting messages or telling people about how they can do some good in the world will help increase popularity. Think about yourself as a user. Do you want to be friends with someone who has depressing posts about their lives, or someone who offers advice and spreads good feelings every day?

Good karma spreads fast across the networks, but it can’t always be a complete cascade. There always seem to be those dark pockets of the Internet where people will either try to spread negativity or reject positive messages. Strong negative emotion can spread too, but it doesn’t induce strong ties making it difficult to repeat the effect.  So if you want to become popular or have your message go viral, try powerful, and most importantly, kind.

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