We Ought To Not Place Our Happiness Online

We ought to not place our happiness online.

Our state of mind is a funny thing. Sometimes we can be as giddy over a simple moment of joy. Other times, a rainy day can taint any good mood we maybe could have had. The funny thing is though, that online, especially within social networking sites, everyone seems pretty darn happy.

There are pictures of sunny days and tailgates, birthday parties and babies. It honestly makes you feel like something’s missing from your life if you can’t keep up with constant flow of updated photo albums (even putting a few of your own pictures up for others to see.) It’s nothing new to compare your life to someone else’s, and most times you can feel better about yourself by knowing how you stack up next to someone else. Today, though, thanks to technology, you can take the next step. You can actually post comparable pictures and updates of your life. It’s not just a mental note you make to yourself. It’s a digital posting of how you measure up for all the world to see.

But what really is at work here? Do we actually begin to feel worse about ourselves after seeing all of this happiness happening to other people? Do we assume that their lives are more fulfilling and they don’t have problems? Are we unwittingly setting ourselves up for a competition that we can’t possibly win? This unspoken norm, of only highlighting the good times for others to see, is depressing everyone else in the process. Our way of thinking has shifted and it will be interesting to see what ramifications may come of it.

Source: Copeland, Libby. “The Anti-Social Network.” Slate. 26 January 2011. Web.