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5 Bumps

World Happiness Declining....

On my way to work this morning, I was listening to John Tesh's morning radio show. He said that there's been a study that shows world happiness is declining. The University of Vermont conducted a 3 year study where they studied twitter feeds from around the world. The picked words that had a happiness factor to them, and assigned them a number with 9 being a very happy state, and 1 being a very unhappy state. Then they plotted them on a graph. They discovered the following:
1. overall, happiness is declining worldwide.
2. weekends are happier than weekdays (duh!).
3. Holidays are happier than regular days, with Christmas being the happiest holiday of all.
4. During natural disasters, such as the japanese tsunami, and Hurricane Sandy, worldwide happiness declined. And
5. The sharpest decline in worldwide happiness in the last three years happened June 25, 2009.

Do you remember what happened then?

Michael Jackson died. Yeah.... And, world happiness took a nosedive. The guy was a great singer, and it's too bad he died too young, but it did not effect my happiness factor. Did it yours?

And its disheartening to me that my kids are living in a less happy world... That bother me.


Asked by Nimue930 at 11:39 AM on Jan. 25, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 32 (56,725 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • I didn't really care about Micheal Jackson's death. I think the decline is happiness is due to the global economic recession and, technology replacing face to face interaction.

    Answer by 3libras at 12:51 PM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • I think more people feel alone today. We've have less of a sense of family and community. Also jobs are scarce for many around the world.

    In the past when hard times hit people made it through together, now it can feel like people are on their own.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 11:48 AM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • I really don't think sites like Twitter should be used as a gauge of worldwide happiness. Not everyone uses that site, and its easier to complain than it is to talk about how thankful you are all the time. Both extremes are annoying.

    MJ's death didn't affect me one way or the other. Sure, I liked him when I was younger, but whoever couldn't see that coming needs glasses. It was inevitable that he would die young.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 11:51 AM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • I believe the reason the overall happiness is declining is because we don't have to try anymore. We are given most anything we want. We don't have to work for it to earn it. Kids are given iPhones, iPads, etc.. at age 7. What are they going to get excited about and want next year... a car? A home at the age of 12? I mean, gone are the days when a simple book made a child happy. Kids do not know the happiness of going to the library to check out a book to read and enjoy.... Everything's just gotten so ridiculous lately.

    Even those that do not work don't have to worry..... they are given money too. I've said it before, I'll say it again, we are one f***d up nation!

    Answer by m-avi at 11:45 AM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • You can't be taking this seriously, right? I think a better title for the "study" would be "The levels of whining on Twitter has increased over the last 3 years." Twitter isn't completely representative of real life - it's just one small amplified segment of what SOME people want to share (or overshare) with the world. The study may be kinda interesting to map how Twitter is working in the world, but don't blow this study totally out of context.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 11:57 AM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • my happiness is not determined by the wold and studies. It is determined by the people I surround myself with and how I choose to feel.

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 12:24 PM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • I do find it is an acurate representation of our over well happiness and satisfaction. We know happiness, or mental wellness, is declining. Communities surveyed consistently have residents who report signs of depression. Out of those who report it very few seek services. As to the why, I think there are many many reasons. Increased stress, not enough time to keep up with responsibilities, we are required to be on call to employer 24/7 with texts and cell phones. News outlets reporting doom and gloom around the clock. Politics increasingly uglier and uglier (although always ugly). The pressures are endless. I see anxiety and depression a lot and people who can't seem to cut back. It is important to not only prioritize but find the balance where health and happiness/satifaction can be found. It is sad we are sadder. But I also see it getting much worse.

    Answer by frogdawg at 12:34 PM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • Direct quotes from the paper:

    "Third, we quantify only how people appear to others; as should be obvious, our method cannot divine the internal emotional states of specific individuals or populations.”

    “Crucially, we do not ask people how happy they are, we merely observe how they behave online."

    Here is a link to the actual article. Please read and conclude for yourself. Be careful not to take it out of context. I am still not worried that Twitter feeds are getting whinier. 


    Answer by Sebbiemama at 1:00 PM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • I think we can credit the media for inundating us with awful things 24/7. I know they need to report the news, but they bombard us with constant negativity. People need to turn off the TV or at least change the channel & focus on happier things. I personally love to watch comedies. I also try to remember to be grateful for the many blessings in my life. If we tried focusing more on the positives, attitudes would improve. Just my opinion.  :)


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 4:57 PM on Jan. 25, 2013

  • The study analyzed over 4 billion tweets, and assigned 1000 words a happiness factor... they seem to think this is an accurate reflection of happiness. You can read the study on if youre interested.

    Comment by Nimue930 (original poster) at 11:58 AM on Jan. 25, 2013