Thank you Carsten Grimm of the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) for your latest study on happiness. Apparently, people like sex and booze (no surprise – we all have a little red demon on one shoulder) and volunteering and religion (no surprise – we all have a little white angel on the other shoulder).
…they also hate FaceBook and texting. Yes, this is a surprise, because these are two activities that have become very popular, even ubiquitous. In fact, this study counters a previous study by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that people were as addicted to checking FaceBook as they were to smoking or sex.
To measure happiness, researchers measured three aspects of each activity: pleasure, meaning and engagement, and found that sex ranked tops in all three aspects.
Alcohol and partying came second for pleasure but only 10th in for meaning.
Recovering from sickness was ranked lowest for pleasure (no surprise), but FaceBook beat it out for meaning. Yes, FaceBook has less meaning for us than feeling sick.
Other studies are less encouraging
Nevertheless, there are still some worrying studies out there for those of us who feel that something as intimate as sex and relationships should have our full attention.
Like that survey from Gazelle.com that found four percent of people use their phones while having sex. Which also found that over one in four iPhone owners “almost always” use their phone while in a social setting “such as during a meal or while at a party”.
Like the Storage Options study that found that half of all Brits check messages while pretending to listen to their partners.
Like the Vodaphone study that found that one in three Brits would answer their mobile phones during sex.
Like the Meredith Parents Network study that found that 12 percent of American moms use their phones during sex. Since “81% of moms said shopping was the #1 way they use their Smartphone”, we can guess what is really on a woman’s mind in the heat of the moment.
Related post: Study says we should turn off the TV for happiness.
Related post: Americans happiest working, Europeans happiest playing
However, we now have at least one study that puts meaningful and intimate activities above the wireless umbilical cord. That should be of some comfort, however small. Here is a summary of the results.