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Why saying good things sounds so ridiculous

Saying good things about a company, or a person, especially on the internet, just sounds ridiculous. Writing a sincere recommendation is very difficult. And writing a criticism is easy. That's why most of the comments you read on the internet, and most of the things you hear from people, are negative things.

It's human nature. If someone writes a short sentence that starts with *I hate....* it's easily accepted by people, even strangers. It gives an illusion of expertise with the subject right away. Certainly no one would state their displeasure with a company, or a person, if they didn't know all about it! It's a shortcut for making the person who wrote the comment look smart.

Conversely, writing something good is very difficult. And it makes people suspicious. It makes them wonder if it's just some subtle promotion, paid for by a company. And people are reluctant to say something positive, because it just doesn't seem to have that ring of sophistication that a negative comment carries.

Some exceptions include favorite teams, home towns, favorite restaurants, and movies that people like. So I am interested in how, and when, people say good things.

I try to say good things about a lot of things I've seen in my life that I'd like to praise. But if you're gonna try to do that, look out. If you say, for example, that you like peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, be prepared for someone who will say, *you would!*. It's as if negative comments are automatically cooler than positive ones.

Saying something good about something brings with it the responsibility to explain why you feel that way. Negative comments don't have that requirement. So, if you want to say good things, be sure to have something to back it up. Here are some examples:

• Cox Communications is awesome. I have had high-speed internet for well over ten years and there has not been an instant of down time. The only time I've been knocked off line is when I've accidentally kicked the extension cord and unplugged the modem.

• Verizon is fantastic. I pick up the phone and the calls go right through, and have been doing so, perfectly, for over ten years.

Waitaminute, see? Sounds like I'm selling something, doesn't it? I'm not, but it makes you suspicious, right? How about this:

• Go Devils! I'm a graduate of Arizona State University.

• Minneapolis is such a beautiful city. Trees and lakes! And Minnesota people are so nice.

• My favorite restaurant in the whole wide world is Joe's Cafe in Santa Barbara. Try the Omaha, trust me, it's delicious.

So, decide for yourself. If you would like to say something good, start with some safe subjects. And resist the urge to *put down* something. Writing something negative is so easy, that the internet, and the world, will always have plenty of it. Writing something good is difficult, but the world could use a whole lot more of it!