Have you ever driven by an accident? I’m sure you have and I’m sure that you’ve done the same thing everyone else does. You turn to take a look. We complain that people slow down just for a police officer issuing a traffic citation on the side of a main road, causing a back-up, yet I’m sure many who complain do the same.
In the media there is a phrase which states, “if it bleeds, it leads”. That is true because news directors know that people want to see the negative, the pain of others.
Think of political contests. If you have two candidates and one solely focuses on their attributes and what they hope to accomplish in office, and the other broadcasts negative attributes of the first, who generally wins the election?
I find that with this blog, the same is true. Look at the “popular posts” in the right column. Do you see a theme? Most are “negative” subject lines. Yet when I post positive things that Awana, or others, are doing and how you can be involved, there is minimal activity. I see other blogs write posts about “controversial” items because they prompt discussion and traffic to their site.
I often wonder why such negative topics are so popular and I have a few ideas:
- People dislike “happy” people – do you know someone who only posts on FaceBook “happy” things or devotional thoughts? Do you think they are authentic?
- People like to see others in the same, or worse situation then they are in
- When we read of other’s struggles, it helps us to feel better about ourselves
Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. What we face, others have faced, and will face again in the future. So by looking at othrs failures, we do learn, or we should.
But why the seeming preference for the negative, the struggles and the conflict?
Aren’t we admonished to think on good things? “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV)
Maybe this thought process comes with the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
So as somone seeking to draw traffic to the site so it can be a greater resource, I don’t want to focus on the negative, have a negative subject line to draw interest, or intentionally write a post to draw traffic solely to engage conversation because the topic is controversial and people have various views. Yet like the news, deep down inside I know that if I don’t, then people may not be interested and may not visit. That is a struggle I face, but rest assured, I will not take that path. I want to be a resource and help others in their ministry and even if only a handful of people are helped, then God has used the site and been glorified.
So I want to encourage you to not only be engaged in the negative, the strugles and the controversy, but see the positive and how you can be involved and be a part – being an example to others positively with the things you are doing for God, not because I had to write about your regrets and mistakes.