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The positive power of negative in social media

There’s a huge belief online that when using social media you can’t and shouldn’t be negative. It should always be cheerful and positive. And that’s absolute nonsense. Negative is quite possibly the best tool you have in your arsenal.

Read on to discover why the 12 Apostles were never given trials of tickles and marshmallows and what it has to do with social media…

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I’ve had fun jousts with the likes of Mark Jennings about this from time to time. Mark is a cheery type, always tweeting the cheerful, talking about how he’s feeling the love and the good vibes. He’s not alone. Like many Digirati, he always tries to see the good in a situation and in people. I don’t think Mark would ever look down on anyone else, no matter of job or standing in society, he’s that kind of guy. To quote the joke, he sees a spade as a transformative multi-purpose utility which can feed starving children, defend from evil and build homes as well as act as an umbrella in times of hardship. That’s the way he sees the world, everything has a glow around it.

Well zip-a-dee-doo-dah for him.

Where it falls down though is when you point out to people that things, comments or attitudes are wrong and they come back saying “hey, that’s harsh”, “you can’t be negative”, “troll” or “don’t say that” and the followers and wannabees attack anyone who dared to disagree with the guru of the day (we all remember what happened when Mr Fry had a bad day and responded to someone who said they didn’t care for a tweet).

But here’s the thing: without someone saying  ‘no’ there can be no improvement. Did Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, William Wallace, Emmaline Pankhurst or Ghandi say to the authorities “well, I see your point, OK let’s discuss.” No they didn’t. They stood there, pointed out something was wrong and went about changing.

Change and growth come from people saying “No, this is wrong. It can be better”. Negative can be – and is a positive. Even when someone says “no” it makes you stop and think about why you think it’s OK. A negative makes you challenge your own beliefs, bringing them our stronger (or changing them), which again is a good thing.

Faith is tested by negatives, not by positives. At no point does anyone in the Bible undergo trials of tickles and marshmallows, they go through hardships, they go through negative experiences to come out the other end stronger. Negative is an evolutionary imperitive to bring about change for the better.

Because if you think everything’s OK and fluffy, you’re less motivated to get involved and to bring about change.

And that’s the power of negativity. It starts the change.

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