Change up your own social algorithm and see what happens.
The world has been aghast lately at the revelation of Facebook’s creepy social experiment. Sure, it’s weird at best and borderline unethical, but it got me thinking: what if we took a cue here and did some experimenting of our own? Can something good come of this?
- Facebook Scientists Alter News Feeds, Find Emotions Affected
- Facebook 101: How to Understand and Tweak Your News Feed
- Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg apologizes for psychological News Feed experiment
- Here’s what you need to know about that Facebook experiment that manipulated your emotions
In the past few months I’ve been making the conscious effort to smile more at others. I travel on business regularly, so I’m constantly in front of zillions of service or travel industry workers, whom I’ve been smiling at more so lately just to see what happens: simple grins and a little eye contact for everyone — not weird, extended fake smiles — just friendly, quick expressions at a drive-thru, coffee counter or lunch table.
And you know what? I’ve seen more smiles as a result. So what if it’s a conscious effort on my part? It’s simple enough and is a basically effortless way to give & receive some positivity.
— Rob Pegoraro (@robpegoraro) July 8, 2014
There’s nothing groundbreaking about my informal experiment, but it’s interesting to me that I’ve been doing some content altering of my own here lately and have gotten some useful qualitative feedback, especially in light of the latest Facebook debacle. Here are some more non-scientific but interesting examples:
Making people smile on the London underground