Kindness contagion, social media and philanthropy for the digital age

“Platforms like Elbi, that allow you to get a regular dose of do-gooding and shout about it on social media”

Remember a few years back when everyone was pouring buckets of iced water over their heads? The first thing that probably went through yours was, ‘Why on earth would you do that?’ As social media feeds filled up with clips of shocked and shivering celebrities, what could explain this bizarre phenomenon? A new study by Jamil Zaki, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, has the answer: kindness can go viral. And the ALS ice bucket challenge is a great example of it.

It seems that observing positive social behaviours in others, makes a person want to conform and imitate them. Importantly, what Dr Zaki and his colleagues found was that “People imitate not only the particulars of positive actions, but also the spirit underlying them.” This means that you could ‘catch’ cooperation, generosity, and kindness. It’s a type of positive peer pressure.

Thankfully, the behaviour goes beyond mere imitation. According to the study, if you observe someone donating generously, you are more likely to carry over a friendlier, more empathic attitude into other tasks too.

All of which is great news for philanthropy in the digital age. Platforms like Elbi, that allow you to get a regular dose of do-gooding and shout about it on social media, mean you’re not only going to get that warm, fuzzy feeling. You’re going to be helping kindness go viral — and spreading positivity into other areas of life as well. And the best thing about it? You’ve got the science to prove the cynics wrong.

As Dr Zaki says, “By emphasizing empathy-positive norms, we may be able to leverage the power of social influence to combat apathy and conflict in new ways.” So jump onto the Elbi platform today, and get do-gooding. Then share your creations and watch as kindness contagion takes hold. It seems there’s no better way to honour today, the UN-appointed International Day of Peace.

#every1counts #InternationalDayOfPeace