Zodiac Signs, Trampy Children & Steve Jobs: Most Shared Articles on Facebook in 2011

By November 29, 2011

Today Facebook released the ‘Most Shared Articles on Facebook in 2011’ ( see list below), fittingly through a note on their media fanpage. The list is interesting, but does it really take the pulse of our culture’s content consumption? Two articles on Zodiac signs, one on an unusually large crocodile and another on Facebook itself rank in the top 10 posts – Is this really what we care about MOST?

While some comments note the the list depicts a culture obsessed with the trivial, I don’t think so.  Emotion-driven content (funny, sad, ridiculous etc) provokes social sharing – readers are meant to react in a sort of “you have to see this” way. However, that doesn’t mean we are most interested in emotion-driven content; we are just more interested in sharing it.

Similar to table conversation with the in-laws, social sharing tends to be uncontroversial. I share what I think my community will be most interested in. While  I don’t know how all 2,000 of your friends will feel about a well-written post on President Salah’s potential resignation ( heck, I don’t know if anyone will know what I’m talking about), I’m pretty confient that an article titled “Why You’re Not Married” (17) will interest a few of my southern single girlfriends. Obviously this rule doesn’t always ring true ( check out 13), but it is worth considering before writing off our culture altogether.

At the very least, I think we can all take solace in the fact that Kardashian headlines are surprising missing  from the list.

 Most Shared Articles on Facebook in 2011

1.. Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami (New York Times)


2. What teachers really want to tell parents  (CNN)


3.No, your zodiac sign hasn’t changed (CNN)


4. Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps (CNN)


5. (video) – Father Daughter Dance Medley  (Yahoo)


6. At funeral, dog mourns the death of Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan  (Yahoo)


7. You’ll freak when you see the new Facebook  (CNN)


8. Dog in Japan stays by the side of ailing friend in the rubble  (Yahoo)


9.  Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines  (Yahoo)


10. New Zodiac Sign Dates: Ophiuchus The 13th Sign? (The Huffington Post)


11. Parents keep child’s gender under wraps   (Yahoo)


12. How to Talk to Little Girls  (The Huffington Post)


13. Stop Coddling the Super-Rich  (New York Times)


14.Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior  (Wall Street Journal)


15.  (video) – Twin Baby Boys Have A Conversation!   (Yahoo)


16. Man robs bank to get medical care in jail (Yahoo)


17. Why You’re Not Married (The Huffington Post)


18. A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs (New York Times)


19. Ryan Dunn Dead: ‘Jackass’ Star Dies In Car Crash  (The Huffington Post)


20. Scientists warn California could be struck by winter ‘superstorm’  (Yahoo)


21. Notes From a Dragon Mom (New York Times)


22.  A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not “Crazy” (The Huffington Post)


23. Obama’s and Bush’s effects on the deficit in one graph  (Washington Post)


24. Penn State, my final loss of faith  (Washington Post)


25.  Golden-Voiced Homeless Man Captivates Internet   (Yahoo)


26. The most typical face on the planet  (Yahoo)


27. Widespread destruction from Japan earthquake, tsunamis   (CNN)


28. Permissive parents: Curb your brats  (CNN)


29. A father’s day wish: Dads, wake the hell up! (CNN)


30. (video) – Laughing Baby Loves Ripping Paper!  (Yahoo)


31. Epic Cover Letter: How To Get Hired For Your Dream Job (PICTURE)  (The Huffington Post)


32. New Zodiac sign dates: Don’t switch horoscopes yet  (Washington Post)


33. Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know (Yahoo)


34.  The Psychology of Revenge: Why We Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death (The Huffington Post)


35. (photo gallery) – ‘Where Children Sleep’ (New York Times)


36. Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth’s axis (CNN)


37. Steve Jobs, Apple founder, dies (CNN)


38. China’s latest craze: dyeing pets to look like other wild animals  (CNN)


39. Grant Hill’s Response to Jalen Rose (New York Times)


40. Steve Jobs’s Patents  (New York Times)