We’ve all experienced it; you’re bored at uni, or you’re lying in bed pretending you’re getting an early night, or you’re trying to prevent having to talk to the awkward man with the bad breath you see on the train every morning. What do you do? You scroll though social media.
Now, I am a self-confessed social media addict. I spend way too much time scrolling Facebook and Instagram, taking a million selfies before posting the “perfect” one to Snapchat. So when I was shown a study about the fact that more time spent on Facebook can lead to higher levels of depression, it’s fair to say I was shocked. I was blown away by Simon Sinek’s speech on ‘The Millennial Question’, talking about how my generation struggle to form meaningful connections because we live in a world built on technology and instant gratification.
Now, of course I know that sometimes social media is great. It allows people across the world to connect; it means we can share our lives with so many more people than we can associate with on a daily basis. But it can also be incredibly dangerous if we forgot to switch it off and appreciate what’s around us.
That (slightly long winded) introduction brings me to the topic of this week’s article. At Friday night dinner in Birmingham, I got chatting to a boy who said he’d like to read something about what’s good in the world. Apparently, all he ever saw in the news and on social media was negative, and he wanted to see some positivity, so that’s my challenge for the rest of this article; total positivity.
In my search for positive news, I found exactly that; A news outlet called Positive.News which writes exclusively about all the good things in the world! A personal favourite topic of mine on this outlet is their segment of “What went right” where they discuss some of the great things that happened every three months in 2017, with a summary of the top 20 things that went right in 2017 in December.
For example, I found out that 50,300 people are alive in the UK alone due to organ transplants, after a record-breaking surge in donors. I also discovered that a law was passed in May 2017 in France banning the use of unhealthily thin fashion models and ensuring doctored photos are labelled from October 2017. Potentially my favourite thing I found was that on International Woman’s Day last year, Iceland passed a law that made equal pay compulsory which, whilst 50 years later than the UK, is still pretty great.
The next stop for my positive news was an American outlet called Good News Network. They have a segment called ‘Good News in History’ and so I thought I’d tell you some of the (rather random) positive stuff that occurred on March 17th. The top thing they chose as positive for that day is that U2 (yes, that random band whose album Apple decided we all needed in our Apple Music) won a talent contest which kick-started their fame. I also discovered that the rubber band was invented in 1845, and that a referendum to end the South African apartheid was passed in 1992, which in my opinion is much more positive!
I’m guessing you’re getting bored with reading my summaries of the good stuff currently occurring around the world, and I’ve now written the word positive (or synonyms for it) 13 times, so I think my point has been made! So next time you’re bored waiting for a train, or have ten minutes to spare between lectures, why not skip scrolling Facebook, and instead go and read about something good in the world.
Orli West is in her second year at Birmingham University where she is studying Education.