Friday, April 13, 2012

Do People Feed On Negativity?

This is not a WoW only thing.  No matter where you go you will see that anything negative seems to always get more feedback.  It seems as if people feed on negativity.  As if people are negative because they know it will get a response.

If I where to make a post about something I like it will usually have views but no comments.  Occasionally I might get a comment that says I agree but that is it.  If a positive feeling post has comments on it then it is likely because I said something in which I was wrong or I made a spelling error someone felt the need to point out.

On the flip side, if I say something negative people respond.  Either in support of me or to tell me I am wrong.  Doesn't matter really, they just respond and sometimes in large numbers.  On more then one occasion I have seen two posters go into long conversations in the comments because they where arguing.

It seems as if people only like to talk when they are being negative.  In any game you play you will notice the forums are like that.  It is not a WoW only thing.   Even in other hobbies you will notice the same.  Fan of a TV show?  Visit their forums and you will see the negative posts have massive amounts of responses.  Fan of a band?  Same thing goes there.

The thing is that this sort of reaction is standard.  I made a post a long time ago that explained why people complain.  They complain because they like something which in turn makes it worth complaining about.  If people did not complain that would mean they didn't care.

So complaining about things is a good thing.  All that negativity because people are upset with things is a good thing.  People that post negative care enough about something to have an opinion.  People who have something to say about the negativity care enough to speak in a random setting.

Does that mean negativity is good?

In advertising they have a saying, no publicity is bad publicity.  Is it the same with negativity?

Whenever something is wrong with the game, as the people see it, the introduction of real ID, the annual pass, things like that, the forums light up like a fireworks display.  Words flying everywhere, some not so kind.

Issues like that bring us to notice how many people actually care about the issues.  Remember, you only complain about what you care enough to complain about.

But when does all that negativity go too far?

Negativity is not always a bad thing but there seems to be a point where negativity turns into hate filled bile being spewed by some people who passed just being negative and moved into being much more.  Not even sure what it would be called.

That is what we see in randoms.  People only talk when they have something to be negative.  That is where all that negativity goes bad.  Negativity can be a good thing for conversation, but not for statement.  If you just want to make a statement, like in a random, negativity is the worst thing for the community.  Perhaps it is because people have gotten so used to everything on the forums is all negative that they think being negative in game is acceptable.  It is not.

Look at the forums and look at all the topics and usually the topics that have the most responses, they are the ones with a negative tone or those  are the ones that inspire people to disagree with each other, thus causing controversy.  It works, sometimes, in a place where you can hold a conversation about things.  Not in a random.

Look around, you will see that people seem to gravitate toward negativity and all that negativity is teaching people a bad thing.

I worry about the impact that it has in the long term for all of us.  While all that negativity does show we care, if all we ever read and respond to are negative things then when that time comes where we need to make a decision on something we will be predisposed to the concept of being negative toward it because that is all we ever see and read.

So do us all a favor and everyone once in a while take the time to post on the forums or on a blog or anything anywhere in a situation where you say, I agree, or that is a nice idea, or thanks for the post.  Every once in a while say nice dps or nice heals or nice tanking in a random instead of harping on the negative.

While we all seem to love negativity and seem to feed on it, take the time to be nice once in a while.  Trust me, it does not hurt.  If it where going to kill you it would have killed me already.  Niceness and grumpiness just do not mix.


  1. On that note, I'd really enjoy it if you were to finish your series on the successes of Cataclysm!

    1. Talking about positives. ;)

      I need to get back to that one, thanks for the reminder.

  2. Anon, Grumpy's GL

    LOL, well I too am glad Josef reminded you of that...