If Everything is Amazing, Why is No One is Happy?
In this popular clip from the Conan O’Brian show, comedian Louis CK questions whether the “amazing” items that are designed to make our lives happier are doing that at all.
We’re no Luddites at LifeEdited. We love computers, eReaders and cutting edge design. But just because something is the latest and greatest, just because it’s faster or lighter, doesn’t mean it supports our happiness. Like the guy Louis CK talks about who gets angry when the in-flight wifi service goes down–a service he hadn’t known existed minutes before. Might the latest and greatest stuff sometimes give us more reasons to be unhappy? Even though it’s the latest and greatest, it can still break, consume cash, increase clutter and be replaced by the latest version of the latest and greatest.
Louis CK’s contentions are borne out in research data. Dr. Ruut Veenhoven of Erasmus University in Rotterdam studies happiness. Over the last 50 years–a period of enormous technological change–he has observed little appreciable increase in happiness in the US.
Of course there are factors besides technology that determine our collective happiness, but it might be fair to say technological progress hasn’t been decisive in making our lives happier.
What do you think about the connection between technology and happiness? How do you evaluate which stuff to include or exclude in your life? Have you found ways of satisfying your technological–or any other consumer needs–that help maintain your happiness? Let us know what you think.
screenshot via World Database of Happiness