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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 

By Larry Carlat

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:

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 served as managing editor for Next Avenue. He is a writer and editor who lives in Venice, Calif. Read More
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