Making ‘feel good’ go viral
JUNE 18 — Like most people, I have a Twitter account. I mostly use it to follow news and other things I’m interested in. Like most people, I have a pitiful number of followers.
But that’s all right, because I’m no celebrity. My personal life is far from interesting (not that I would tweet about it regardless). I don’t tweet profoundly life-changing words of wisdom in 140 characters or less on a daily basis. If I had a second Twitter account, I wouldn’t follow me either.
So when an American actor and singer followed me on Twitter earlier this month, I was shocked.
Granted, he’s not Brad Pitt, he’s not Johnny Depp. He’s not an A-list Hollywood darling. But I’ve watched some of the movies he’s been in, and I like him. He’s good. He’s one of those actors that you just like watching onscreen because you can feel that he’s a genuine guy.
And to have someone I admire, someone relatively famous and somewhat successful following me, an unknown, nobody stranger halfway across the world, absolutely made my day. Even more so after I double-checked and found that he runs his Twitter account personally. It was him, and not some hired administrator, that clicked the “Follow” button.
Before I looked at his Twitter account, I never knew that he was a singer, too. So after I got over my elation, I started exploring his music. And it’s good. I like it. Having listened to it, I thought that discovering his music, in itself, would have been enough to lift my spirits for the whole day.
I like it so much, in fact, that it blows my mind away thinking how I might never have listened to it had he not clicked that “Follow” button, which led to me finding out that he sings.
As I spent the rest of the day listening to his music, it struck me how easily this stranger, whom I have only known from his movies, had just made my day. All he did was click once. Looking at his tweets and what people tweeted back to him, I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. A lot of regular, ordinary people (okay, so maybe some of them are perhaps special and extraordinary, just not famous) are happy and excited that he followed them.
And all it took for him to make all these people feel so much better about their day was one click on a pixelated button.
Of course, I don’t think he goes around Twitter following people for fun. He’s probably doing it for marketing purposes, for exposure: people can’t enjoy his music if they don’t know it exists. But the fact remains that it was so easy for him to make strangers feel good about their day. It was almost effortless.
That fact led me to wonder further: does he know that he’s making people happy every day just by following them on Twitter? Maybe he does. His fans certainly aren’t shy in telling him so. Then I wondered if I can do the same. Can I make other people around me feel better so effortlessly?
I probably can. We all can, at that.
There are so many little things we can do that might make someone else’s day. And these things, they’re mostly easy to do. Things like a quick smile, a minor (but honest) compliment, can lift someone’s spirit. They can make a difference.
Maybe your colleague did a good job today, and made things easier for you. Say it. Did your wife cook something nice for you and you liked it? Tell her you did. The nice, little things we can do may not seem like much, but probably does to someone else.
And when you can make other people feel ever so slightly better about themselves, their day, I imagine they’ll be more inclined to do the same for someone else. It spreads. And before we know it, the world might feel better about itself, too.
So have you made someone’s day today?
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.