Finding the good side of social media
Social media gets a bad rap these days — our polarized society, its impacts on self-esteem, all that stuff — but there's a group of creators out there dedicated to using their talents to bring you good vibes only.
Why it matters: Picking up the phone to turn off our brains at the end of a long day can easily turn into doomscrolling, so this world of wholesome content can provide a nice, reliable reminder that you've always got a shoulder to lean on.
What's happening: These artists — mostly centered on Instagram, though they cross-post to other platforms — have built vast followings by generating smiles via their signature characters. A by-no-means comprehensive selection of some popular accounts include:
- @heyheymomodraws, which mostly follows dog Momo and frog Forg, who are just doing their best like the rest of us.
- @dinosaurcouch, centered on oft-existential dinosaurs who have each other's backs.
- @helloscarymo, a not-scary-at-all blue blob with great things to say.
Zoom in: Greb, a 30-year-old Scot, focuses his work on the core trio of Soup Frog, Baby Duck and Baby Dino — and all the nice things they do for each other. In Greb's world, unlike our own, no one's a cynic and there are only happy endings.
- He tells Axios he started making comics in 2019 after seeing Alison Zai's work and thinking, "Hey, those are fun. I want to try that!" He made his comics his full-time job in 2020.
- Greb said he thinks people connect with his work "because this world is just too much sometimes. It's a hard world and really overwhelming and confusing." He believes that if readers "can take away a smile or a laugh [his] job is done."
- And as for why Soup Frog likes soup so much: "He's a sweet, kind and sensitive mama's boy, and soup is comforting and makes him feel safe and loved."
The big picture: These comic creators make up a tiny corner of the wholesome section of the internet. All you have to do is look!
- Like any internet niche, the appetite for good news is vast — from TikTokers zeroing in on stories to make you smile to Axios' own Finish Line newsletter.
The bottom line: Take it from Greb. "People find it nice to just focus on something silly and simple. It's good to remember who your inner child is and let them smile sometimes."