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Sep 23, 2014

#100crappydays

I think #100happydays is a load of crap.  If you haven't heard of the campaign you might be living under a rock (is there room for me to join?). It has been blowing up my news feed and even the Today Show has jumped on the bandwagon (please tell me how a TV show can even become happier)?

I am in full support of finding happiness in your life, whether it be setting your intention at yoga, snuggling with a four legged friend, or finding your passion and making it your career. What I can't understand is how self promoting your happiness on social media can truly make you happier or why so many people think the rest of their 800 Facebook friends need to know that on day 35 a Pumpkin Spice Latte made them happy.

I checked out the 100HappyDays "Foundation" website to get some background on the campaign. There isn't too much there convincing me to take my opinion on this topic from crappy to happy. I  appreciate that they discuss how you can keep your 100 days private (emailing photos or creating a separate hashtag). There is also a join us section where it looks like events are on the horizon. Maybe one day I'll revisit my opinion on this, but for now I can't help but make fun of the claims on this site.
"While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being."
Serious question, how can you "appreciate the moment, the environment, and yourself in it" if you are busy trying to figure out which filter it looks better with?

The site also makes some really scientific claims about the results one could expect...
People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:
Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
Be in a better mood every day;
Start receiving more compliments from other people;
Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
Become more optimistic;
Fall in love during the challenge.
People successfully completing the challenge claimed to: Start receiving more compliments from other people.
Is a "like" a compliment?

People successfully completing the challenge claimed to: Fall in love during the challenge.
You could argue that from age 18 to 30 the average person may fall in love 3 times. That means they would fall in love once every 1460 days. Statistically speaking then, someone in this age group would have a 7% chance of falling in love during these 100 days anyway.

image via Wikipedia
Unfortunately, there are people in this world who will never become optimistic, fall in love, or receive more compliments. Three out of four people in the world don't have consistent access to a smart phone (eMarketer). If participating in #100happydays is the way to happiness, what will 75% of the population do? Let's take a quick review of Psych 101 with Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Maslow's theory (take it as you would like) suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire the secondary or higher level needs. News flash, the  majority of the world is focused "physiological" needs while we are hashtagging ourselves through "esteem". Maybe focusing on making sure people meet these basic needs is a better strategy for solving world happiness.

As if I wasn't skeptical enough, I wanted to take a look at what is really making people happy. Yes, there some great pictures of people volunteering, spending time with family, and of course PUPPIES, but I have to call out some of the posts I found that are, how do you say, less inspiring.

Congratulations world, tattoos, Reese's, McDonalds, iPhones, champagne, homecoming dresses, and trips to Vegas are making you happy and I'm sure adding a hashtag and picture is life changing as well.

I'll leave you with one last word of wisdom from the #100happydays website. 
It will take some time, but you – and us – are spreading happiness and contributing to the society.
It may take time, but don't worry, I won't be holding my breath.

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