I love technology. I enjoy trying out new gadgets, playing with innovative systems, and experimenting with fun programs. But none of it would be worth it if I couldn’t share my excitement with others. You see, it’s not the technology that makes me happy. It’s people. Technology is just a tool to foster a connection with others.
Consider a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy and Lund University in Sweden that suggests relationships, not things, make us happy. Researchers analyzed news articles published online by Swedish papers during 2010. They looked at which words most often occurred in the same articles as the Swedish word for happiness. Out of more than 1.5 million examples, words such as “grandmother” and personal pronouns more often appeared with the word for happiness. Other words, such as “iPhone” and “Google” rarely appeared next to the word for happiness.
“This doesn’t mean that material things make you unhappy, just that they don’t seem to come up in the same context as the word for happiness,” says Danilo Garcia, researcher in psychology at the Sahlgrenska Academy’s Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health.
The researchers feel that the analysis shows a collective perception in society on what makes us happy. This is important to remember as venue managers, because you’re bringing people together to share a (hopefully) happy experience.
“Just as the Beatles sang, most people understand that money can’t buy you happiness or love,” Danilo Garcia said. “But even if we as individuals can understand the importance of close and warm relationships on a social level, it isn’t certain that everyone is aware that such relationships are actually necessary for our own personal happiness.”
And now you know.
(Image via Orange Photography)