Good-will, Free-will, doing nothing, a decisive path for happiness

Good-will, Free-will, doing nothing, a decisive path for happiness

I had this thought that just wouldn’t let go, so I’m typing now to get it out of my head.  It goes back to when we were in school and given a test.  The typical response (personally) was ‘do I have too?’  And the response was always, “well, you don’t HAVE to do anything you don’t want to do, but…” -there was always this insinuation of bad consequences (or fear.)

That resonated with me, so much so, I remember the ‘moment’ vividly in my mind.  So, we’re talking about decisions and we’re always given three choices as it relates to ‘taking action.’  In a moment, we have yes, ‘choosing between alternatives’ or ‘doing nothing.’  I think this decision making process, makes more sense when dealing with an ‘event’ or ‘moment with action.’  The more interesting question is what motivates us to make the decision(s) we make?  Is it fear, promise, opportunity, interest (beliefs, desires, intent)

So we all have a choice between three options… actively participating, continuously choosing between multiple activities or ‘or just doing nothing’ (ironically, it’s voting yes, no, or somewhere ‘in between’)  In the high pressure, sales driven world we live in, we have ads targeting us to ‘Just Do It.’  It resonates with a lot of folks.  Not sure about outside the US, but I’d say the global campaign worked pretty well in other countries.

My point is, at the ‘point of action’ or the ‘moment of truth’ or ‘commit time’, we’ve already chosen (made several decisions.) You chose to do this activity because of x (or x + y + z).  Now, how has social media (or specifically photo sharing) augmented that decision?  You certainly do things because others are watching or not watching, how have your decisions changed?  And once that moment is captured, what are your decisions once you have that ‘lightning in a bottle’?

Like,

  • Am I going to share this information?
  • Who AM I going to share this information with?
  • What benefits (or costs) are associated with this pic being posted?
  • Is this going to be shared by others?
  • How is this going to be shared?

With the advent of Facebook and Twitter, our behavior is very telling, but is sharing just ‘a habit’ with good and bad consequences?

Are we consciously or subconsciously making these decisions?  Whether it’s habit or not, conscious or not, we all make lots of decisions, (with positive and negative consequences) and we have the power to make changes to our behavior based on these ‘shared moments.’  Should these important decisions to ‘share’ be more explicit then just a ‘like’ button, more carefully and clearly thought out?

The question is, whether we would rather have more options (more decisions) before our ‘moment of truth button’ (as opposed to just having pre-determined channels set to default) where we can pick and choose which activities we’re interested in viewing, participating in or doing nothing? A smarter network that captures these ‘future’ moments we may be interested in participating in actively or passively (through circles, clics, tables) for a moment in time your involved peripherally to take pre-planned action.   A moment to consider before sharing or ‘being’ in that future moment and committing to it publicly?

OR do we care?

I think it’s some combination of the above..in hindsight, I don’t want all of my decisions in NOLA shared..but on the ride down, I wanted to know ‘whats goin’ on.’  I want to know what the environment the ‘theatre’ was like before getting there an making my future decisions.  Maybe my decisions would have been different, maybe better, maybe worse-who knows??

WHO AM I? (as I relate to social media)

I suppose it depends on ‘who you are’ and what your ‘purpose’ or your ‘intent’ in life is.. I’m guessing an extrovert with a marketing background would be inclined to ‘share everything.’  While the introvert would be less willing to put themselves ‘out there’ and be more selective as to who or what they’re sharing (more thoughtful and meaningful.)

Without question, as it relates to social media (photo sharing) activity, there are A LOT of decisions being made and these decisions are not going away.  These decisions tell a lot about us, who we are, why we exist and ‘are we happy.’  I just heard 1/3 of folks who use facebook are envious of the folks after looking at vacation photos of their friends and what-not.  I’d say these folks are living life on the sidelines unable or unwilling to ‘take action’ themselves.

So, how can this experience that is so meaningful to us and our society be ‘better’?

What if there were an index built into the button that allowed for two things..

  • first question ‘the choice’, such as, ‘are you sure you want to send this, yes, no?’ (this might be annoying, right?)
  • what if your were provided a place for a ‘caption’ to describe the event for others to view ‘your moment’, yes, no?
  • what if you could determine if your photo should be ‘rated’ alongside others similar events of interest (by others), yes, no?

At that point, do we really think of our pictures as being us, or just as a collection of experiences in which your an actor on a larger stage, theatre or magazine?  What if there we’re no negative repercussions from this moment being displayed/shared?  This is where the lines or roles of art, media, marketing and story-telling blur for me.

For the most part, most decisions made by society ‘in real life’ are really good, so the old tagline of ‘Just Do It’ when dealing with social media(photo sharing) can have positive consequences.. But lately, news has picked up on the stories of folks who were misinterpreted, or re-tweets that cause harm to someone else or who could forget Brett Favre‘s fiasco?  It’s easy to see how our actions ‘in real life’ can have positive and negative consequences and social media (photo sharing) can be a promoter or demote(r).  What if only stories of happiness were shared and promoted?  stories of which you can take action on (be a part of..)

I think if your mind is ‘set’ to ‘being happy’ you choose a different path (a common path), whether consciously or subconsciously, directly or indirectly.  How have your choices or behaviors changed due to your use social media (photo sharing)?

You’ve already chosen ‘a’ path.

That’s probably why most genres of religion are geared toward peace and love, they promote an underlying path that directly influences the decisions we make for happiness.  Not only that, but most are intended to be ‘promoted’ be a light-spread the word, etc.  It’s really interesting to see how social media influences or ‘adjusts’ our individual and collective behavior ‘in real life’.  Things folks would never do or say actually happen (in public).  Not only are they happening, they’re shared publicly, the consequences of those decisions weren’t thought of in the past, but now happen in real-time.

Maybe this is why the Amish are so reluctant or opposed to having their pictures taken?

The internet’s network effects are amazing.

Whether you’re deeply religious or you appreciate good karma, you’ve already chosen a path toward happiness.

SO what factors led to our happiness?  

Science provides answers easily found on Wiki-pedia. Psychologist Martin Seligman provides the acronym PERMA to summarize Positive Psychology‘s findings of what factors correlate to happiness:

: humans seem happiest when they have:

  • Pleasure (tasty foods-maybe that’s why people have so many post at lunch!, warm baths, etc.),
  • Engagement (or flow, the absorption of an enjoyed yet challenging activity),
  • Relationships (social ties have turned out to be an extremely reliable indicator of happiness),
  • Meaning (a perceived quest or belonging to something bigger), and
  • Accomplishments (having realized tangible goals).

So, it’s easy to see why Gtrot (or now Boomerang) has made a move from sharing ‘local discoveries’ to ‘gift giving’.  It’s a play on the social benefit of relationships and accomplishments to affect happiness, these are powerful habit forming experiences relating to appreciation and gratitude..http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/24/lightbank-backed-boomerang-debuts-a-social-gifting-platform-for-brands-and-businesses/

I still think there’s something to developing habits that help make us individually, collectively and publicly ‘better.’  I still think folks can deliver happiness through ‘actionable insight’ by sharing their ‘local happenings’ without the negative repercussions of facebook.

Based on current behavior, we all typically really want to be doing what others find enjoyable.

So, in putting all these thoughts together, doing good(good-will), sharing our happiness for others(free-will or choice), improving oneself and the local community in the process could be a driver for local happiness through ‘events’ and activities (as opposed to doing nothing), right?  I know not all our events of happiness are public, I’d presume most aren’t.  But many are, and these ‘moments of happiness’ happen as people choose to: ‘improve themselves’, ‘go to college’ or ‘find that first great employer who values us’.

Each of these have social implications for all of us.  I envision a time when we track these ‘moments of happiness’, for social good.  Not just social graphs of people, places and things for advertising and promotional sake.  But more of a share your experiences so others can achieve better.  Not ‘what’s happening’, but what makes us happiest? I think this would lead us toward more interesting opportunities to discover ourselves and local happiness!

I’m just talking out loud here, but can social media help us find our ‘purpose in life’ and ‘happiness’?

As ‘ma always say’s ‘cherish the moments.’

Frequently used words
‘do action’ activity decisions doing easy good happiness local love made making media more person pretty probably see share sharing social think well
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3 thoughts on “Good-will, Free-will, doing nothing, a decisive path for happiness

  1. happiness referred not to an emotion but the long-term pattern of action, the sum of which is your moral character. It is the habits of virtue that are acquired over years of exercising the appropriate virtues.-Arthur Dobrin (Happiness is How You Are, Not How You Feel)

  2. Pingback: Happiness is the meaning and.. « proAM#1

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