Login to Happiness

What makes you happy? Sunshine? Ice cream? Watching YouTube videos of people hurting themselves?

Apparently, what really makes you happy is Facebook. According to a completely impartial study undertaken by none other than Facebook themselves:
We discovered that the more people use Facebook, the better they feel and that those who share and communicate the most with their friends feel even better.
So the more you post, the more you get involved with Facebook, the better you feel.  That's 500 million people who swallow the free and legal Facebook happiness pill every day.

There's a bit of Facebook sunshine for most of us. Unfortunately, Facebook wasn't such a thrilling ride for Kamisha Richards who was stabbed and killed by her friend, Kayla Henriques, following a spat on Facebook over a $20 loan. Not such happy times.

MoodViews, a Dutch company, doesn't track the mood of individuals. That would be too easy. They track the mood of the entire Internet. Their software gathers data from 150,000 blogs and 10 million LiveJournal accounts. It uses its own algorithm to determine how the Internet is feeling today. Just for the record, I tried out the site and waited for about half an hour for the Moodgrapher to display results. It turns out that the Internet's frustration rate is up by one.

This May 2010 article on Time.com claims that studies by a UK team have shown that people with Internet access are happier than people without:
Overall, the study found that access to the Internet leads people to feel better about their lives. "Put simply, people with IT access are more satisfied with life even when taking account of income," said Michael Willmott, the social scientist who authored the study, at a press conference. "Our analysis suggests that IT has an enabling and empowering role in people's lives, by increasing their sense of freedom and control, which has a positive impact on well-being or happiness."
Apparently, the researches analyzed data from 35,000 people worldwide. Obviously, those 35,000 people simply spent their time friending each other on Facebook.

I suppose that knowing that a long-lost friend stubbed his toe this morning doesn't necessarily enhance your sense of purpose, identity or self-worth. But, on the other hand, cute videos of cats and kids does have a way of brightening up your day.

Happy Wednesday/Thursday, everyone!


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