18 Nov Gratefulness 365: take the Facebook Challenge!
by Ingrid Poulson (bio HERE)
About two years ago, I almost gave up on Facebook. It seemed that this marvelous program for connecting people had been hijacked by mundane news feeds about scores on Bejeweled Blitz, political opinions and generally a lot of complaining (my favourite of these statuses? “Why does everybody suck?”).
Then one day a status loomed. “365 reasons to be Grateful” it said and the author did just that: posting a status, with or without a photo, with something to be grateful for, every day of the year. So simple, yet so divine. As I read through her daily gratitudes, I was sometimes moved to laughter and often moved to comment. I felt like it helped me to reflect on what I felt grateful for as well.
When my friend’s year was up, I felt such a keen sense of disappointment that I started to do it myself. At first, I’ll admit I was a little nervous. Would I come across as too Pollyanna-ish? Would people doubt my sincerity? In the end, I forged ahead anyway and posted what I liked. After all, I was aware of three things: that social media affect moods, that moods are contagious, and that gratitude is a highly proven happiness skill. Besides that, I was amongst friends.
What a wonderful experiment it turned out to be. My daily updates were followed, liked and commented on far more than ever before. Often they were simple- about food, views, friends, and something nice that happened that day.
Although I tried hard not to repeat myself, many featured some perennial favourites like my husband, the beauty of my hometown and, of course, the growth and antics of my baby son.
As I penned my last Facebook gratitude status yesterday, I remarked how the hardest part of it was often choosing one from the many things I felt grateful for each day. See, the power of it lies in the fact that knowing you have to put something up means you look for good things and happy photo opportunities, all day. And believe me, they are there in abundance.
In my last status, I also sent out a challenge, a passing of the baton- who would do their 365 days next? A few have taken up the challenge already and with their status updates, I can feel the mood change. So, how about you? Are you prepared to use the forces of this powerful medium for good? Try it. I’m willing to bet you won’t regret it.