With Thanksgiving and the holiday season fast approaching, it is a time for reflection and gratitude. I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you a product I have been working on which is focused on spreading happiness through gratitude. Personally, this year has been full of change which is sometimes tough to handle, so "feel good" projects have helped me to focus on the good things in life.With the help of my partner Jen Consalvo and our agile development team I recently launched Thankfulfor.com, a social online gratitude journal providing a forum for expressing gratitude routinely as a foundation for happiness and well-being. People come to the site and post what they are thankful for to their personal journal of thanks. People can also choose to send each Thankfulfor post to their social network on Twitter (each post starts with the #thankfulfor hashtag) extending the good vibes far and wide.
It is our goal to use social technologies to help spread more positive feelings both online and off and in some way, help improve many people's daily lives. This goal was somewhat validated by James Fowler, professor at University of California San Diego, who studies the intersection of social and natural sciences and referred to this phenomena as “emotional stampedes” in his new book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. Emotional states like happy, unhappy and neutral spread through online networks despite location. For instance, an overseas friend who shares their thanks for a sunset can inspire you to experience similar feelings of joy after reading their post and reflect on things in your own life. Through Thankfulfor.com and it's growing community, we hope to inspire waves of contagious gratitude moving through people's personal networks.
For the holiday months of November and December, Thankfulfor.com is hosting a Gratitude Challenge inviting everyone to try Thankfulfor routinely and then report back with stories of how the experience may have impacted their lives. We've already received this thoughtful story of the use of Thankfulfor in a preschool by a teacher in Boca Raton, Florida. I invite you to give it a try and send us your unique experiences of Thankfulfor in your life.