Document Type


Publication Date



Although a great deal of research has examined the potential negative effects of Facebook, studies also show that Facebook use can lead to various positive effects. This study builds on this positive effects scholarship: together, the two studies presented herein aim to provide an understanding of the inspirational content available on Facebook and the way social media users in the United States encounter, recall, and interact with this content. Results from the quantitative content analysis in Study 1 show that inspirational Facebook posts contain similar frequencies of hope and appreciation of beauty and excellent elicitors when compared with other forms of media and social media. Results from the national survey conducted in Study 2 show that social media users are most often inspired by portrayals of kindness and overcoming obstacles and that Facebook users did not report different sharing behavior as compared with users of other social media sites.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in New Media & Society, volume 22, issue 3, in 2020 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


The authors



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.