LibraryLady
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Viral Emotions

This is such a great article to share with students! A study done at Beihang University in China found that it's how we feel after reading social media that has a lot to do with if we share it. In their study, rage moved readers to share content more quickly, making that content go viral. What I found more interesting is a study done in the US by researchers from the Wharton School of Business. Their results found anger was a good predictor of content going viral, but that awe was the top emotion at getting people to share content. Awe drives us to share, while anger makes us withdraw. When discussing social media with students, get them to share examples they've experienced of angry versus awesome social media. If they wanted to make something go viral, which way would they approach it? Could they find a topic in which anger OR awe could both work? Can they find examples of advertisement imbedded in social media that are awesome or anger-filled? Which would they predict would be more common for advertisers to choose? Have a few examples to share!
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It's incredibly important that we're aware of this!! I hate realizing later that social media is effecting how I feel, so kids being more aware of this since they're growing up in an even more electronically connected environment than I was seems really important.
Exactly, @sophiamor! This is why I think it's so important to start teaching students about this. It's the world they live in, so they need to be informed.
This reminds me of the recent Facebook content experiment. People who were exposed to rage-inducing content were more likely to post angry statuses, while the uplifting crowd were in a significantly better mood. It's amazing how the internet can play with our emotions so easily!
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