It is true that happiness is a universal value which is adored by almost every human being. Nevertheless, the scale of happiness is expanded inadequately from an individual guideline to a worldwide standard. Modern technologies are collecting and quantifying data of happiness as if they are valuable goods on the marketplace. Moreover, some seem to consider happiness as an subject matter which can be easily simulated.

Firstly, the cognition of happiness is different from oneself to another. Take LGBT as an example, most of gender-identity based people believe that a happy family must be a combination between male and female. Kristen Henderson from Antigone female rock band, however, proves that a joyful home can be made of two mothers when giving birth at the same time with her wife Sarah Kate Ellis. Kristen had tried to fulfill the role that the society expected but she only found depressions for not being her true self. Therefore, an all-applied benchmark for happiness can led to anxiety for minorities who have detached idealities from the established norms.



Secondly, monitoring happiness is more likely to be an economic advancement than a societal reformation. For example, Facebook always ask you to complete the interest list on your account: what kind of books do you like, what kind of movies do you like, what type of activities do you look for, what places do you like the most... So that they can know exactly what make you happy and then suggest appropriate services which can provide more “happiness” to you. Any company that wants to be on your news notifications has to pay Facebook for that. Thus, transforming happiness into measurable quantities is an effective way to manipulate personal choices.


Thirdly, if happiness becomes an objective for us to compete, it will definitely lose its own meaning. Sometimes I feel happiness is like a jargon which is shared among many closed spheres of disparate cultures. People should naturally and independently nurture their own happiness, as any artificial interference from the outside can lead to unexpected depression for the inside. Like a person who try too much to fit in other people's clothes.

Published by Khanh Hoa Vo Thi