FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Social media allows us to connect in unprecedented ways. Every time you log in, you have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of content, ranging from funny and light-hearted to negative, with nasty comments and messages spreading misinformation. Both sides of this social media coin have a chance to achieve viral status in our daily life.
Michelle Drouin is Professor of Psychology at Purdue Fort Wayne. For over a decade, Drouin has studied how all kinds of media, including social media, impact humans and relationships with one another. Drouin says a lot of things can lead to a viral post, but there are some components that could give it an edge.
âThings like fear, things that have a general human interest, there’s like a train wreck that you don’t want to look away from,â Drouin said, âSo you know, things that are catastrophic that go cause strong feelings one way or another. Feelings of anger, feelings of fear, feelings of happiness, all of these could be things that could attract a viral post. “
As you scroll through your social media feed, most of the content is tailored to your interests. It all comes down to the algorithm that social media sites keep very secret. They’re set up to present you with things that match what you love or interact with the most. If you are not a fan of what your algorithm is showing you, you can try changing what appears in your feed.
âHe reads the general public, but he also reads you specifically and tailors the information he thinks you want to see for you. So you can potentially change your algorithm just by visiting new sites to get a wider range of information that you’re exposing yourself to, you know, associated with more people looking at different news sites, âDrouin explained,â Then the types of things that will be at the top of your feed or shown to you as the ad changes.
Drouin cautions to be patient as it will take some time to change the algorithm, as you add new sources of information.