Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thru my Lens Project – Spreading Happiness One Picture at a Time





Happiness is contagious. Help me spread it!

I’m a true believer that Happiness is fundamental to human existence. I also believe that online social networks plays a critical role in spreading happiness around the world.

A new study that followed a large group of people for 20 years concluded that happiness is more contagious than previously thought.

“Your happiness depends not just on your choices and actions, but also on the choices and actions of people you don’t even know who are one, two and three degrees removed from you,” said Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis, author of the study, to be published in BMJ, a British journal.

If your friend’s friend’s friend becomes happy, that has a bigger impact on you being happy than putting an extra $5,000 in your pocket.

People with the most social connections -- friends, spouses, neighbors, relatives -- were also the happiest, the data showed. "Each additional happy person makes you happier," Christakis said.

"Imagine that I am connected to you and you are connected to others and others are connected to still others. It is this fabric of humanity, like an American patch quilt."

Each person sits on a different-colored patch. "Imagine that these patches are happy and unhappy patches. Your happiness depends on what is going on in the patch around you," Christakis said.

So does happiness spread the same way through online social networks? Maybe.

A different research showed that positive and negative behaviors infect groups in similar ways. For example, when one person in a social network quits smoking, the odds that another person in the same circle will quit increases by more than 35 percent. That’s HUGE! Population models show that smokers successfully quit in cluster groups, even when they don't know each other.

Unfortunately, obesity is also contagious. When a person is friends with someone who becomes obese during the friendship, he or she is 60 percent more likely to become obese as well.

People who follow The Bluebird of Happiness are considered to cluster in happy groups. The people toward the center of that group are more likely to be happy than the people on the periphery (the things you can learn from scientific research, LOL).


So now that we have all this wonderful information, how are we going to use it?

Well, my idea is to ask my readers to spread happiness around the net by submitting a photo with the caption “Happiness is ____”. Make sure you send us your twitter handle or your blog link so we can link it back to you.

I have to say that the just like Aristotle, I believe that happiness is the universal goal of every human being; however every person has a different way of achieving happiness. No matter how big or how simple your concept of happiness is we want to know about it and share it with the rest of the world. Please take in consideration how your picture can influence strangers in a positive way for at least a whole year. So go ahead and send us your picture and let’s cherish every concept of happiness no matter how big or small it is.


Happiness is celebrating the first snow day of the season. 
Photo by: Liza Cardona

Pictures can be sent to capturinghappiness@yahoo.com and will be post it every Friday which is the happiest day of the week ;)

Your support is very much appreciated.
Thank you,

Dr. Liza. A. Cardona
The Bluebird of Happiness

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