The Influence of Gratitude in Social Media & Life

By Rebecca Murtagh | Rebecca's Thoughts on . . .

Nov 26

The Power of Gratitude in Social Media & Life

The Science of Gratitude

After eight years of intensive research, Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor at University of California, believes he has discovered what gives life meaning: Gratitude.

Gratitude Makes us Happy

He is not alone. There are dozens of studies that validate the impact of gratitude on quality of life and performance.

An attitude of gratitude, not to be confused with indebtedness, has been scientifically proven to have a positive impact on health and well-being. Basically, the ‘attitude of gratitude’ can make all the difference in how you view the world you live in (on and offline). An expression of gratitude can increase the “happiness” of the average individual by 2-19%. The impact of gratitude on those who are being challenged or having a tough time can be even more dramatic.

The video below to puts this theory to the test.
Please watch it! I promise you it is worth every second of your time.

The Power of Gratitude

This may explain why those who experience near-death experiences, or put in harm’s way find it easier to express gratitude. When one views life as a gift – rather than taking on a victim mentality or sense of entitlement – they enjoy multiple advantages in several areas of life including relationships, career, finances, academics, health, energy level as well as coping with tragedy and crisis.

I believe an attitude of gratitude and happiness is the driving force behind the accelerated recovery of a colleague. Dana Lookadoo is a smart, positive, generous woman, who I have had the honor of meeting, and who is known and liked by many in the SEO profession.  In early November 2013, Dana and her bike, were in an accident that left her with broken vertebrae and other injuries. Despite the devastating physical injuries, Dana’s positive attitude are accelerating her recovery. I am not at all surprised. Dana is a gracious and generous person, touching the lives of many on and offline – illustrated by the intense interest and activity on Facebook where hundreds of people from around the world anxiously await news on her progress, sending her notes of love, support and encouragement for her recovery. Many of these people have never met Dana in person – they only know her through social media, yet the sentiments are powerful, strong and quite genuine.

I am truly inspired by her strength and believe that if there were ever a case study to be made on how to be authentic and connect as a real person on social media, Dana would be it…wouldn’t you agree?

Dana Lookadoo Twitter

Dana’s experience resonates with me in a very personal way.

While recovering from a violent car accident during my college years, I was so grateful to be alive I could not stop smiling – even though I was visibly missing many teeth! Instead of focusing on injuries and the long road of recovery ahead, I felt thankful, happy, and believed I had been given a beautiful gift. To this day, I care less about appearances or material things. Instead, I appreciate what matters most, embracing experiences in life and grateful for each and every new friend or opportunity that comes my way…including you – the person reading this post at this very moment. : )

Gratitude in Social Media – and Life

It really does not matter how or where you express that gratitude. Gratitude can be a whisper to someone you love, a note, while blessing a meal, or a note of thanks on social media.

As part of daily life for so many, social media can play a vital role in expressing gratitude. Sincere acts of gratitude will not only feel good; they can go a long way in creating an authentic connection with audiences, one person at a time. You do not need science to believe that showing appreciation for blessings, including gifts or acts of kindness of others, is a win-win. So, it only makes sense that sincere gratitude would be equally powerful when expressed on social media, whether public or privately.

Gratitude Challenge

In the U.S. we often express gratitude on Thanksgiving day.
We really don’t need a holiday or excuse to be grateful for everything (and everyone) good in our life – do we?

I challenge you to take a moment each and every day to express your gratitude on social media. You do not have to exercise all of your gratitude publicly or online. Yet, one expression of gratitude a day could bring dramatic results over a week, month or year.

What expressions of gratitude are suitable for social media? Think about what are you grateful for each day. It may be an event for which you initially believe no one person is responsible. Yet, I suspect that when we take a moment to reflect and delve into the events that led to that event, we can probably identify a person that contributed to that success or achievement. It may have been words of affirmation, a loan, a gift, an introduction, a rave review, or even a simple share…any of which are worthy of an expression of gratitude.

Birds of a Feather

Something tells me that if we all did this, every day, we would connect with more people, enjoy more success and be genuinely happier about the life we live. Studies show that the happier we are, the more attractive we are to other people. The more attractive you are to others, the more effective social media is likely to be in helping you build audiences that you genuinely connect with – that want to be connected to you.

My final thought is one of gratitude…thank YOU clicking on this page and reading this post.
I wish you happiness and fulfillment in everything you do!

P.S. Dana, thank you for your friendship and for reminding me of how powerful gratitude is, especially this Thanksgiving and holiday season xx00

UPDATE: It is with sadness that I have to add that Dana Lookado lost her brave battle to recover from her injuries in September 2015. Rest in Peace Dana, you made everyone you knew better by association with you.

About the Author

Rebecca Murtagh is a Human AI Evangelist, Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author of CROWD SUCCESS® , Innovation coach, consultant and trainer. Rebecca leverages decades of experience working with Fortune 500, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Mains Street, global brands and startup entrepreneurs to help executives, their teams, and entrepreneurs leverage Human AI to innovate faster and achieve sustainable success. Rebecca also helps virtual companies, remote talent and hybrid teams improve productivity, collaboration, creativity and job satisfaction for optimum performance and long-term success.

  • Avatar Elmer Boutin says:

    Gratitude is a great thing to focus on. You certainly bring up a great point here. I believe that unselfishness and generosity can also bring a lot of joy and happiness to life. Generous people tend to be very happy and selfish people, very unhappy.

    Perhaps gratitude and generosity are two pieces of a larger puzzle.

    • You make a great point Elmer. Generosity is, indeed, powerful. Perhaps the two are intertwined? Would those that are generous be so, if they were not themselves grateful what they have? Giving brings happiness to some, yet painful for others…more likely those who will never feel that they have ‘enough’. Could they be the very same people that see generosity as a sign of weakness? I suspect you have made an important connection. Thank you for your comment and thoughtful insight!

      • Avatar Tony Dimmock says:

        I can\’t add anything to your wonderful post, Rebecca – some things needs just reading and internalising, especially the strength, courage and gratitude that Dana has shown on her path to recovery. And, *so much* does gratitude and thankfulness help us through the struggle of life – appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

        I also can\’t add anything to either of your comments, Elmer and Rebecca – both your comments are full of wisdom.

        What I will say, is that I\’m grateful to know you both and thankful that we\’ve had a chance to speak and share on various occasions throughout this past year.

        Best wishes to you for Thanksgiving and Thanksliving

        • Thank you Tony, I know this is an atypical post for me. Dana’s accident, or more accurately, her perseverance and grace really struck a cord. This time of year is full of reflection for me and I felt compelled to write this after seeing the video and instantly thinking of Dana…the rest just flowed. I am grateful to know you, and Elmer (another very good egg : ) and look forward to continued friendship in the new year. Here’s to Thanks-living!

  • Avatar Edward Lix says:

    Rebecca, I read your post, and it made me tear up, because it really hit the nail on the head. Even as Dana was lying in the ICU bed, broken like a little bird, she was thanking the doctors and nurses and even the guy emptying the trash for helping her. She is doing much better now, but is still showing gratitude for all the things that most people would either take for granted or even expect from nurses and PT staff. I am learning from this also. Thank you, Ed

    • Ed, as busy as you are supporting Dana, I am so grateful for your comment – it touched me and affirmed what I have always observed of Dana. What a loving soul she is, and how fortunate she is to have you by her side. You are both truly blessed. I teared up as I read this to my husband. We all know how precious life is, and although interruptions in what we perceive to be “normal” seem to be inconvenient, they often yield the most touching, lasting lessons. God bless you both. I continue to lift you both up in prayer. Please send Dana my love.

  • Avatar Doc Sheldon says:

    Wonderful post, Rebecca! You\’re right about the short video being well worth watching.
    I also think Elmer\’s observation that gratitude and generosity are intertwined is spot on… anyone that knows Dana can see daily evidence of that.
    You described much more clearly than I was able to in a recent post on my blog, how an attitude of gratitude can help one see the silver lining in a cloud. Some people are so grateful by nature, that the silver is all they see.

    • Thank you so much Doc, I’m so glad you found the video as worthy as I did. Whenever find myself losing perspective, all I have to do is shift my focus to gratitude and everything changes. What a beautiful aspiration – to see only the silver linings. Truly something to aspired to. I am grateful that our paths have crossed, and thank you for taking time to comment on this post, inspired by one truly inspirational woman – Dana : )

  • Avatar Sunita Biddu says:

    Am glad that I found it at Linkedin Rebecca :) I indeed believe in (super) power of gratitude & the video turned my emotions on when I myself started thinking about people who made my life beautiful :)

    Thanks & I\’d be a regular reader.

    God bless

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