Negativity Bias

Negativity Bias

For most of my time as a YouTuber I’ve consciously tried to frame my videos as conversation starters rather than “rants.” You can decide for yourself whether or not I’ve been successful at that, but regardless, I do think that in the past I may have contributed to the air of cynicism and negativity that permeates the internet. It’s really easy to find issues and problems with the world, and when that’s the only information you share, it can reinforce the idea that everything just kind of sucks.

So lately I’ve been trying to infuse a little more positivity into my videos, even if only a little at a time. I want my videos to encourage optimism and action rather than cynicism and apathy. This is a hard trend to reverse, however, because it seems to be human nature to focus on negativity and most of our effort trying to avoid bad experiences.

I know that it can sometimes be unhelpful to simply tell people “be more positive” as if there is a switch in our brains we can flip on and off, but I think it is a good exercise to try and make an effort to appreciate the good things in life, which I’d argue exists with roughly equal, if not higher, frequency as the bad things. Since this does run counter to our nature, it requires motivation and a conscious will, but I think it is worth it.

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