Do we bloggers complain excessively? Are we always bashing wrongdoers while ignoring the good around us?
I wonder this about myself sometimes, so I conducted a little survey, which I am calling the Kvetch Index. In my very unscientific sample, I went through my blogroll, which is listed in my left sidebar. I did not include the links that I have categorized as Information Blogs. For each blog, I looked at the posts that were currently visible on their front page at the time that I dropped by (either yesterday or today). I excluded posts where people were talking about their personal lives, and I left out some of the farcical stuff. I made a judgment call on whether I considered each remaining post to be:
- Positive: Primarily expressing approval of a person or event. This includes praising the efforts of someone who takes action against a negative force.
- Neutral: Information, insights, or questions that weren't really positive or negative in tone. I included in this category any calls to action concerning current events.
- Negative: Primarily expressing disapproval of a person or event.
The results? Out of 250 posts, 71 (28%) were positive, 45 (18%) were neutral, and 136 (54%) were negative.
So we spend a significant amount of time complaining. What does it mean?
Most of the blogs I read are by left-leaning types. With Republicans in control of the government and a war going on, we have plenty to complain about. The only (very few) conservatives I ever read are people who focus mainly on pro-life issues; and they, of course, have complaining to do about the high numbers of abortions that continue to take place. What I'd like to do next is to find a blog that's at the opposite end of the spectrum from mine (a pro-choice conservative) and see what the Kvetch Index looks like on that person's blogroll.
Is it the current political situation, or is it just human nature? Do we focus more on things that we want to see changed and less on things that are we think are OK? Is it "cooler" to criticize than to applaud? Any thoughts?