Thank you, Ashton Kutscher’s A Plus (A+), for selecting me to be one of the moms for your postpartum depression piece titled “What is Postpartum Depression? 5 Moms Tell Us About the Darkest Time in Their Lives” last Thursday. My story was shared with A+ readers, along with the stories of Amber Koter Puline, Lauren Hale, Alexandra Rosas, and Kimberly Morand. I would’ve blogged about this earlier if I wasn’t so darn busy, with one day blending into the next and blending into the next….
Truthfully, I hadn’t heard about A+ previously, and I was quite surprised to hear that the founder is none other than Ashton Kutscher! There are many who still haven’t heard of A+ and I have still yet to see a single A+ article pop up in my newsfeed shared by others in my Facebook circle. A+ gave me the opportunity to share my story to reach a broader audience, so I am going to give a little plug (even though I don’t really think Ashton and his team need this).
After reading the “About Us” section on the A+ site, I’m feeling more honored than ever. I can see why they decided to share our PPD stories. It’s for the same reason why the 5 of us (and many others) have been trying for many years (Amber & Lauren since 2007 and me from 2009) to spread awareness and get our message out to other mothers.
We strive to deliver positive journalism to readers, with the intention of making a meaningful difference in the world by highlighting our common humanity, promoting personal growth, and inspiring social change.
Sounds a bit like Huffington Post, don’t it? Well, kinda sorta. The specific mission of the stories published via A+ is to “make readers feel better about themselves or the world around them after they’ve read it” and inspire readers to take positive action and to be better people by sharing positive/uplifting stories, encouraging ways for people to improve their personal situations, increasing a sense of community, empathy, and the interconnections that exist between themselves and others regardless of geography.
Our stories encourage readers to see themselves in others and reveal their secret selves. Our stories highlight moments of courage, humiliation, anger, folly, but the ones that hit home are the ones that cause readers to feel that they are not alone with their imperfect selves. We do not make fun or put others down; we find ourselves in them!
I’ve blogged many a time about the over-eagerness of media to capitalize on “click bait” for the sole purpose of generating the greatest number of views possible by coming up with a juicy or attention-getting headline. Very rarely are those click bait articles about good news. More often than not, those stories incite negative responses from people, whether it be anger, sadness, outrage and/or the desire for retribution and wishing ill will upon others (think trolls). Those types of articles feed hateful thinking and behavior and keep the vicious cycle going round and round with no end in sight. The outcome is greater disappointment in others and the world we live in. Basically, all of the opposite effects from the mission of A+ noted above.
Upworthy is a media site that tries to inspire positive thinking by sharing positive/uplifting stories. Let’s hope that the A+ movement will continue to differentiate itself from the Upworthy’s and Huffington Posts of the world, and truly succeed at making a difference. Because, you know what? We truly need positive change. And a lot of it!