Can an iPhone Really Make You Happier? A New Study Says Yes
According to a survey of 35,000 people around the world, access to communication technology was a main factor in increasing happiness.
We all need a few basic things in our life in order to be happy: access to clean water and food, shelter, health care, and relationships with friends and family. But once the necessities are met, what do people most desire?
Access to communication devices, according to a new study of 35,000 people around the world by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
Most people in the study gave similar answers, but the potential happiness increase that technology could bring about was particularly significant in women and in people with low incomes or levels of education—even in developing countries.
While farmers in rural Africa aren’t likely to pick up the latest shiny toys from Apple, even a simple cell phone can serve as a valuable happiness-increasing tool, allowing the expansion and maintenance of social networks beyond the community.
“Whether young or old, we’re all social beings, we all have a need for the things IT access facilitates,” researcher Paul Flatters told BBC News.
In rural communities, access to communication technology such as cell phones and computers is limited, but expanding, thanks to groups like One Laptop Per Child, which supplies children in developing countries with basic laptops that will allow them to research school projects and connect with others all over the world. Other groups, like the UK’s Computer Aid, are helping rural villagers get wired with the help of portable cyber cafes that allow locals to log online to send emails and perform work-related research.
And back at home, it seems from the results that slick tech gadgets like the iPhone really can increase your happiness—provided you use it to talk with and send messages, photos, and videos to friends and family to help strengthen your social networks, rather than simply playing Angry Birds.Filed under: General Interest, Health and Wellbeing, Non-Profits,
Liked this? You'll love these, too:
Everyone On Earth Is 4.74 Degrees Apart
According to a new Facebook study, just 4.74 degrees separate any person from another. Read More
Adaptive Cruise Control Could Cut Your Commute in Half
The new adaptive cruise control technology can make roads safer and faster for car drivers. Read More
50 Inspiring, Uplifting, and Positivity-Focused Sites to Make You Happy
Searching for more happy news and inspiration? Take a look at these 50 websites. Read More
Happiness Lessons and a Giveaway from Gretchen Rubin
Check out some happiness lessons from Gretchen Rubin -- and win a free copy of her new book! Read More
Game Players Solve Molecular Puzzle that Stumped Scientists for a Decade
After puzzling over a science problem for 10 years, researchers took their problem to an online game called Foldit. Players had the answer in less than 2 weeks. Read More
To our free daily newsletter, featuring good news from around the world, exclusive interviews with changemakers, guest columns, and subscriber-only weekly giveaways and special offers. Your privacy is secure with us, we will never spam you or sell your email address. Enter your email address below or click here to learn more about what you will receive.
- Stanislav Petrov: The Man Who Saved the World by Doing Nothing
- Miracle Fruit Makes (Almost) Everything Delicious
- Hachiko: The World’s Most Loyal Dog
- Liam Hoekstra, Superbaby: Toddler Born with Superhuman Strength
- Mugging Attempt Gets Thwarted by Real-Life Ninjas