Let’s psycho-analyze me for the fun of it. 

My blog was recently featured in the“Top 100 Dubai blogs” list by feedspot. When I first learned about it, I was very excited since my blog is quite new. It went live on May 2019 so that’s just a few months ago. 

I was thrilled and so I started sharing this news with others. 

  • First, I was working late at the office, so I told my colleague who I barely knew. 
  • Then, I told my close friends on WhatsApp. 
  • Then I shared it on my blog’s social accounts pages. 
  • The next day I was having a conversation with my partner at work and so I shared the news with her. 
  • She then shared the news with the workgroup on Whatsapp.
  • After that, people at work started telling other people. 
  • And then the next day, I shared it again on my personal social accounts pages.
  • Then my friend shared it on her facebook page. 

In this process, not only did I share the news, but others, both close and not too close to me— offline and online. Ironically it was shared more offline than online. Not surprising to me though, I know why, thanks to Jonah Berger.

“Research by the Keller Fay Group finds that only 7 percent of word of mouth happens online.” — Jonah Berger

I started wondering, what in this news made me and others have the urge to share it with others… I mean from a consumer behavior perspective. 

I thought, well, the very first book I read about consumer behavior was Contagious by Jonah Berger. 

The book explains why things catch on. It doesn’t necessarily tell you why people make specific purchasing decisions, but it does give you a clue on what makes people share things. Perfect for my personal psycho-analysis session.

Contagious is a best seller book in the “Consumer Behavior” category on Amazon and that’s one of the reasons I was enticed to read it. In fact, I finished the book 4 times and I have both the audible and Kindle versions of it. I loved it. Maybe that’s not really relevant in explaining why did we share the news, but, well, I just wanted to say that, so I did. 

The book gave a good introduction to consumer behavior with many examples. It was simple and I would recommend it if you want to ease into the subject without getting scared away with all the technical jargons. 

The book states 6 principles on “why things catch on”: 

  1. Social Currency
  2. Triggers
  3. Emotion
  4. Public
  5. Practical Value
  6. Stories

I look at those 6 principles and wonder which ones triggered sharing the news about being featured in the top 100 Dubai blogs list.

Why did I share it?

For me, it’s easy. The social currency was my trigger, even if I want to sit here and try to be modest. 

“People share things that make them look good to others.” — Jonah Berger

In fact, research says that sharing things about ourselves makes us feel as good as eating great food or making tons of money. 

“Harvard neuroscientists Jason Mitchell and Diana Tamir found that disclosing information about the self is intrinsically rewarding. In one study, Mitchell and Tamir hooked subjects up to brain scanners and asked them to share either their own opinions and attitudes (“I like snowboarding”) or the opinions and attitudes of another person (“He likes puppies”). They found that sharing personal opinions activated the same brain circuits that respond to rewards like food and money. So talking about what you did this weekend might feel just as good as taking a delicious bite of double chocolate cake.”  – Jonah Berger

How about my partner, my colleagues, and my friends. Why did they share the news? 

I would say emotion… as well as, social currency

“Humans are social animals. As discussed in the chapter on Social Currency, people love to share opinions and information with others. And our tendency to gossip — for good or ill — shapes our relationships with friends and colleagues alike.” – Jonah Berger

But also, people share when they care.

“When we care, we share.”— Jonah Berger

People share when they feel an awe emotion. An awe emotion is an emotion that excites you, definitely not a neutral feeling. For example, the sad emotion doesn’t excite you, so when you feel sad, you don’t feel intrigued to share. I guess the right emotion for my colleagues and friends could have been feeling enthusiastic or proud. 

“According to psychologists Dacher Keltner and Jonathan Haidt, awe is the sense of wonder and amazement that occurs when someone is inspired by great knowledge, beauty, sublimity, or might. It’s the experience of confronting something greater than yourself. Awe expands one’s frame of reference and drives self-transcendence. It encompasses admiration and inspiration and can be evoked by everything from great works of art or music to religious transformations, from breathtaking natural landscapes to human feats of daring and discovery.” – Jonah Berger

That said, I guess you had a good dose of me, myself and I today, so I am going to call it a day. 

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