31 January 2011

Happiness

What does it mean to be happy?

In this blog I've been referring to platforms and tools which I find engaging and interesting, and especially useful  as learning tools. 

Recently I came across a project called Track Your Happiness. The purpose is to undertake research into people's happiness by studying what factors affect people's happiness in their daily lives. Participants need to be over 18 of age and answer a set of questions which are sent to them everyday. After 50 responses, participants are sent their report on how their happiness varies. 

There are times when I do wonder whether all the technology that surrounds us today affects our ability to be happy in life. Collaborating, sharing, connecting with others,  are important for us to learn but I also believe that as a human being, we also need  time to reflect. It is only after quiet periods of self-reflection that one is able to give back to a community, to become a positive and active member of that community once again. 

As social participants in both off-line and on-line communities, perhaps we need to recapture ourself from the constant fast-paced life and techno-noise that we all regularly experience. In our ever increasing roles, stepping back and reflecting become equally important and essential to our well-being and state of happiness. 

If you do track your happiness, I wish you fulfillment in your discovery of whether you are indeed happy or not. 


Happiness.

It's not that difficult really. 

It begins with a smile. 

And making the simple choice of being happy.

 Do you think that technology has made us happier today compared to the past?

2 comments:

  1. Hi Cristina,
    You should read the article "Your Brain on Computers" at
    www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/technology/07brain.html

    There are a number of other articles on the NY Times related to this topic, and article -- how technology is affecting us -- that would be worth reading as well.

    Another article from a few years back, also from the NY Times, is about a course a professor did about Positive Psychology. His course required that students record their emotions, basically and the course was exploring whether or not happiness is something that could be learned or taught. www.nytimes.com/2007/01/07/.../07happiness.t.html

    The stepping back and reflecting that you suggest are something that I'd say many people neither do nor know how to do. That is something that has to be learned.

    Jeri

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  2. Hi Jeri,

    Thank you for pointing out that article, which I will certainly read.

    I find it really interesting how you say that stepping back and reflecting is something that needs to be learnt - I had not considered that as a practice that people should develop. Nevertheless, I find it increasingly important, mostly because of the intense nature of roles we tend to be living today (i.e. off-line, with all one's roles and on-line, where one can develop and live equally different roles).

    Perhaps this comes from my own questioning of what it means to be a digital citizen and how we become digital citizens - being a digital citizen beyond using common courtesy and good common sense when online.

    On the other hand, as much as I am dependent on digital technology, I also have the need to switch off, yet that is not as simple as I once thought it would be. Hence I seem to have more questions than possible answers.

    As for happiness, being content with oneself and one's surroundings, that I find increasingly important. How to teach others to step back and reflect, is as you say, more challenging.

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