In brief: In today’s connected world, there are more ways to discover news stories than ever before; it’s just a shame that so many of them are negative. For those who find the threat of war, global warming, and economic problems is getting them down, Google has a solution: a new feature for its Assistant that surfaces only good news.
Being exposed to a countless amount of depressing news items isn’t good for our wellbeing. As Google notes, it can give us a negative outlook on the world and makes people focus on problems rather than solutions. With the 'Tell Me Something Good’ feature, however, users will only hear positive stories, which aren’t always a high priority for the mainstream media outlets.
Asking Google Assistant to “Tell me something good” will surface stories, chosen from a wide range of sources, that have been curated and summarized by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit “dedicated to spreading the practice of solutions journalism, which highlights how problems are solvable and that doing better is possible.”
Some examples of the positive stores include ‘backyard beekeepers’ in Detroit who are boosting the falling bee population while improving the local economy, and a program that uses video games to get more people involved in city planning.
Even though more than half of Americans say bad news causes them stress, anxiety, fatigue, and sleep loss, 1 in 10 checks the news every hour and 20 percent constantly look at their social media feeds, which usually contain news headlines. Taking a break and focusing on the positive stories that are out there will likely benefit many people’s mental health, at least to some degree.
Tell me something good is available in the US now on Assistant-enabled devices, including phones, smart displays, and Google Home.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash