Happy Media

Story by Kimball Bennion

Greg Dunn’s Facebook event page The Gratitude Journal still attracts daily posts from tens of thousands of followers even after it was set to expire.

One woman lists blue nail polish as something she’s grateful for, while another praises communication, family time, and respectful people.

The short posts on the page adhere to some unwritten rule listed in threes. Dunn, who lives in Lehi, Utah, started the journal to create a contrast to the negativity he found on social media, asking, “What can I do to make it positive?”

Avery Holton, a communications scholar at the University of Utah, says social media fulfills basic needs: reciprocity, communication, and in the case of The Gratitude Journal, positive affirmation.

The page’s popularity shows that while social media can be a source of information, it works best as a community builder.

And that was one of Dunn’s goals all along.

“There’s a lot of negativity on (Facebook),” he said.

Dunn said his idea to start the event was inspired by similar pages he had seen on Facebook, but he believes the almost exclusively positive posts it encourages is what helped it catch on with almost 19,000 followers.

Kimball Bennion grew up in Wyoming, graduated from Montana, and worked in newspapers before stumbling into the assignment desk of Salt Lake City’s KUTV. He’s never been skiing.