Tag Archives: culture

(Un)Happiness Culture

I’ve recently discovered that there are apps to boost one’s happiness.

Now, for people that are unhappy (not the same as depressed, I’ll emphasize), that could very well be a good thing. But it seems like there is a sudden prevalence of apps, techniques, articles, studies, and so forth that are all aimed at teaching people to be happier.

I have no beef with happiness. I like happiness. I am all for happiness. But I have a few questions.

Are people actually unhappy?  Or am I just seeing a lot of happiness focused ads because I meditate and do yoga and I’m likely part of some demographic for some advertiser somewhere?

If people are actually unhappy, then why? I see a lot of people on my Facebook feed participating in gratitude and positivity challenges, which are, incidentally, a way to increase one’s happiness. But I have no idea why these people are unhappy (but then again, why would I? It’s not like they post about that on Facebook, which, as research is now showing, itself makes people unhappy).

Which brings me to this question: Does our culture create unhappiness? Is the happiness trend a form of backlash against unhappiness culture, or a way to monetize it?