written by David Anglin

The Philosophies Behind The Share

The Philosophies Behind The Share

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For me one of the most interesting things, and something I've been trying to get to the bottom of for the longest, is understanding why people share. Why is it one post on a social network will barely get a look in, but another post will get shared all around.

Though much of this will be speculating from my point of view, I believe I have an understanding behind the reasoning of a share. You see, for a person to share something from a stranger it needs to trigger some kind of powerful emotion in them, whether it be of hate, love, compassion or empathy, it has to trigger some kind of emotion. A post that is well written but lacks a strong emotion as its foundation will not encourage someone to share it. It will quickly be forgotten in the endless wheel of constant posts and updates. The posts that stand out trigger an emotional response that leads to a direct action. Even now as I write this I remember a conversation I had just yesterday with a friend of mine. She was scrolling through her Whatsapp and she came across a profile picture that she believed to be derogatory to women as it featured an image of a women and the message read "A reminder to all men: It's Never Yours, It's Just Your Turn." Now whether the message is wrong or right I will not get into ;-) but it completed its intended task as she went on to phone a friend about the picture. She told me about the message and temporarily deleted the guy off WhatsApp.

A message that brings out powerful emotions in a person will always be shared, because like what the lady above did, you share with people when you're strongly convinced that it's something that people around you need to see. I think even as I'm writing this my perspective is changing as I used to always believed that people only shared negative things as its exciting, but when you think about it, that's not the case. People will share all types of things based on emotions, but things that are outliers of normal life will go viral. For instance if someone wrote a post saying all babies of a certain race are ugly, it would cause a storm on social networks and that person would find themselves having to defend their actions. If a person wrote an article talking about a 5 year old who set up their own successful business, I believe this post too would go viral, as people would share the story as its so incredible and conjures up emotions of joy, amazement and for others motivation.

Writing a post that people want to share is not easy but I think it starts from writing a post based on your real life experiences, because with the billions of people on this earth at least one of them would of experienced similiar experiences to you and if one person can relate it means there's others out there who are looking for a story just like yours.

David Anglin

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