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What are the most frequently shared New York Times' articles?

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“Perhaps most of all, readers wanted to share articles that inspired awe,” writes John Tierney in the New York Times (02/09/10). Confounding his (and our) expectations about the most frequently emailed articles, researchers discovered that people want to share something that is emotionally transcendent, that is elevating, that is…dare I say it…meaningful.

Despite the proliferation of celebrity magazines and reality TV shows, we are still searching for something more. Jennifer Aniston’s 41st birthday just doesn’t do it. How much can you say about Taylor Swift’s Grammy performance or the infidelity of politicians? The sordid saga of John and Elizabeth Edwards just doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning.

We want something deeper. We want “…the revelation of something profound and important in something you may have once seen as ordinary and routine…” We want that experience. We want to see the miracles around us, the evidence of something greater than ourselves, and we want to share that knowledge with those we care about.

We may get a brief thrill in catty references to the Sanfords or the Spitzers, but we don’t want to build our connections to life or our close relationships through that exchange.

We want to communicate with others our sense of the transcendent, the awesome, of our own insignificance in the face of the majesty of the world. We want to share…dare I say this also…our recognition of our Creator and His omniscience.

Today’s society has a lot to answer for in terms and decadence and immorality. But it’s not a one-sided picture. The same people buying The Enquirer are building homes in Louisiana and sending money for medical care in Haiti.

We recognize there is more than just me. We recognize that our real relationships are built on foundations of depth and spirituality. We know what really needs to be shared. And we are doing it. The Almighty’s presence is definitely being felt in the world. We are reaching out – to tell others about it, to Him. Perhaps it’s because we all sense that we need Him now more than ever.

Published: February 27, 2010


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Visitor Comments: 1

(1) SusanE, March 6, 2010 4:42 PM

What might be the Meaning Behind all this Chaos?

I read the above Times Article that you have reprinted, last week, too. I also hope that the trend to share meaningful stories means that the general population is turning away from silliness and excess in the media. While I agree that we shouldn't dwell on stories of horror and destruction, and tragedy 24/7, we do need a balance. Are the sharing of stories with meaning, a step in the right direction? Is the chaos that G-d has allowed into the world, giving us one last chance to step up and do something benevolent and charitable for other nations? Time to put 'ulterior motives' out with the trash. To do something for the Hatians, and the Chileans, and the poorest of peoples during these times of tragedy, is a great mitzvot, because we can't expect anything in return from them. ----------------------------------- Thanks Emuna, for bringing this article to attention here.

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