I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t really get the #100HappyDays project. I mean, obviously, I understand what it is – a daily Facebook/Twitter/Instagram update documenting the thing that has made you most happy that day – but I just don’t really get it. Molly just posted this message on Twitter, and I’m quite inclined to agree.
As a disclaimer, I have absolutely no problem with people being happy, or practising gratitude for the things that make them happy. I’m an avid journal-keeper, and one of the things my journal has lots of is gratitude lists. I’ve spoken to Brooke, who puts hers on Facebook, and Kirsty about #100HappyDays. I love Gala Darling’s TiLT posts, I love reading them on other people’s blogs, and sometimes, I even do a little TGIF version myself. Lots of my friends, both blogging ones and not, are keeping up with their happy days all over social media sites. But a few things about #100HappyDays have got me thinking…
♥ Firstly, wouldn’t it be nice if it were a hundred days of making someone else happy? Wouldn’t that be a more revolutionary idea? And, arguably, that’d make your hundred days pretty happy too. Doing nice things for other people is nice. Rather than focusing on the awesome yoghurt you had for breakfast (I’m trying to think of an example I’ve never seen, I’m not picking on things that make people happy. I love yoghurt. Especially Petit Filous. They make me happy.), wouldn’t it be nice to make breakfast for someone else? Or a cup of tea? Or pay for the person behind you’s coffee in Costa? Wouldn’t that make their day happy?
♥ Secondly, what if you’re just having a legitimately shit day? What if the highlight of your day today was managing to brush your hair? Sometimes I have days like that, and I don’t think I’d want that to have to be the one thing all day that made me the happiest, because that would probably make me feel worse. The pressure to find something, anything to be happy about sometimes seems a bit…. overwhelming. Hence aforementioned pictures of yoghurt.
♥ Thirdly, why does everything have to be documented? I had this conversation with Brooke and Dave earlier this week, and I realise how ridiculously hypocritical it is, considering that I take photographs of everything I eat before I eat it, but can’t we just be happy? Can’t we just enjoy whatever the thing that’s making us happy is, without having to drill into ourselves the habit of pausing the happiness long enough to photograph it and post it up on our newsfeeds?
I can totally get behind the idea of #100HappyDays – recognising what makes you happy is important and empowering – but I think it focuses too much on looking in, and I don’t think that that’s what really makes happiness. The things that make me the most happy are spending time with people I love being around, and (pass the sick bag) trying to create relationships that make all of the people in them happy. I know that that’s hugely sentimental, but I think that finding 100 ways to make someone else happy is far more fulfilling.
I’m expecting this post too not go down too well, and having reread over it, I debated not posting it at all, because it seems a bit… angrier than I intended it; but that’s not very honest, and if I’m going to spend my dissertation time procrastinating by ranting about other people’s happiness, I should have the guts to hit ‘publish’, so here goes. Leave me comments, tweet me, email me and rant at me. If you’re taking part in this project, I want to know, and I want to know why. And, maybe more importantly, is it working? Are you happier?