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The Good News About Good News

There's a very good chance that you'll share this post with your friends 


I have good news!
 
According to a recent article in The New York Times, good news beats bad news on social networks. The more positive an article, the more likely it is to be shared. Jonah Berger, a social psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, writes in his new book Contagious: Why Things Catch On:
 

Stories about newcomers falling in love with New York City were more likely to be e-mailed than pieces that detailed things like the death of a popular zookeeper.
 

That’s really good news and it got me thinking about all the good things that have been happening to me lately, such as:

  • I’m in love! I originally broke this news a few months ago and I just wanted you to know that things are going great and we couldn’t be happier. Isn’t that fantastic news? (And feel free to add a few emoticons when sharing this article with your friends!)
  • I’ve lost weight! I’ve been dieting for the past few weeks and although I miss pizza and chocolate chip cookies more than I miss all of my dead relatives combined, I feel great and can finally fit back into my “40s” jeans (that’s age, not waistline). What great news!
  • I have a new dog! Here she is in this illustration. Isn’t Penny cute? By the way, my girlfriend did the illustration. Isn’t it awesome? Did I mention that I was in love with her? The good news just keeps coming.
  • I’m still cool! I’m in my mid-50s and comfortable in my own skin and no less of an authority than my own son thinks that’s so freaking cool — and nothing makes me happier than that, with the possible exceptions of being in love, losing weight and getting a new dog. Anyway, it’s all good!
  • I’m healthy! Right before Thanksgiving, I had a sonogram done on my prostate because my PSA was higher than normal. The doctor found a small lesion and for a couple of nerve-racking days I was convinced that I had prostate cancer. It turned out that I didn’t! And that was the best news I had heard in a long time and I’m very happy to share that with you now. Yay, me!
  • I found money! I just went to the supermarket and found a crisp $10 bill in front of Pasta and Sauces! I would’ve ordinarily spent it on any number of deli meats, but I bought an arugula salad instead. How great is that?
  • This! As cute as they are, I still like Penny better! And my girlfriend!
  • I’m winning my March Madness pool! OK, I know it just started, but so far, all of my teams have won. Go Louisville!
  • It’s spring! This has always been my favorite time of year. And I’m not the only one.
  • I’m a multimillionaire! Well, not quite. But I did just buy a Powerball ticket. The jackpot for Saturday's drawing is up to $320 million – that's way more than finding a $10 bill on a supermarket floor. Fingers crossed.

(So remember to share all of this good news with your friends on Facebook and Twitter because if you don't, the chain will be broken and … oops! Sorry wrong century!)

Larry Carlat
By Larry Carlat
Larry Carlat served as managing editor for Next Avenue.

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