It’s difficult to define just what happiness is, or if it’s even a “thing” that can be defined at all. What makes a billionaire happy might be completely different than what makes a child from a low-income home happy, or it could be the same.
Very often they define a happy person as someone who experiences frequent positive emotions, such as joy, interest, and pride, and infrequent (though not absent) negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety and anger. Happiness has also been said to relate to life satisfaction, appreciation of life, moments of pleasure, but overall it has to do with the positive experience of emotions.
The key to these definitions is that positive emotions do not indicate the absence of negative emotions. A “happy person” experiences the spectrum of emotions just like anybody else, but the frequency by which they experience the negative ones may differ. It could be that “happy people” don’t experience as much negative emotion because they process it differently or they may find meaning in a way others have not. In fact, using the phrase “happy person” is probably incorrect because it assumes that they are naturally happy or that positive things happen to them more often. Nobody is immune to stress in life, but the question is whether you see that stress as moments of opposition or moments of opportunity. Bad things happen, to us and in the world. People can be unkind, and jobs can be difficult.
But we do have some control over how we spend our leisure time. That’s one reason why it’s worth asking which leisure time activities are linked to happiness, and which aren’t.
Is social media killing our happiness?
Many studies are done on the topic every year and very often the conclusion is that every activity that didn’t involve a screen was linked to more happiness, and every activity that involved a screen was linked to less happiness.
Of course, it might be that unhappy people seek out screen activities. However, a growing number of studies show that most of the causation goes from screen use to unhappiness, not the other way around.
The answer, then for me, is not to give up technology entirely. Instead, the solution is a familiar adage: Everything in moderation. Use your phone for all the cool things it’s good for. And then set it down and go do something else. You might be happier for it.
Is moderation the key to happiness…might be……..