Inspired by a Smile

In today’s age of mobile phones and Internet, I rarely see people smiling. You might think this weird, because in truth, there is no correlation between technology and happiness, right? But why is it somewhat, if not closely, related?

I am no scientist, nor have I conducted experiments to back up my theory, but I believe that in some ways, our happiness depends on how less technology we have. You could go for the shallow reasoning where: if you have an expensive phone, you’re worried it’ll get stolen, as compared to having a not so expensive phone, you’ll think less of it. Thus, the subtle happiness with a less technological object.

I remembered my bus ride the other day, going to work. An elderly man was using, if you believe me, a Nokia 3310. I thought it was vintage and cool, and without meaning to, I thought out loud “What a nice phone, sir!” To which, the elderly man laughed. This actually started our conversation where he explained that having this phone is less of a hassle than using a smart phone.

Mind you, this man might not have been older than 65, but he’s content, and looking around the bus, it looked like he’s the happiest. I can tell because I read people as I go along in life, and he had a smile most people try to fake with difficulty. There was, I thought, a kind of smile that you can never get from people who are paid to smile while they serve you, the genuine happy smile. I believe you know what I mean by this, and if you don’t, I pity you.

More to the point why I think that technology slowly blocks our happiness, is that people see more of the unpleasant bordering to crude news about everything. We think that by seeing the “news” be it good or bad, we’re being well informed. However, we are just feeding our paranoia and fear. You might disagree with me, but you see it too, you just don’t want to admit it, because you’re leaning on one side of it.

With the Internet in our fingertips, it’s really easy to search absolutely everything. Like earlier today, while driving home, I was not sure what the toll prices were since it isn’t where I usually come from, but by typing it on my phone, I was able to find out exactly how much. (Php83 from Sucat exit going to Mamplasan) This was loads helpful to me who had limited funds at the time, but it proves my point of how easy and convenient it is to search for things on the Internet.

Like the other day, there was a killing near our place, even without me searching for it, it was there. I knew about it without intending to. This is how our world revolves now, the more you know, the better. For me, it even came to a point where I was relying on social media and the Internet to know about news instead of watching the actual news at night.

This is also why, I believe that the satirical sites have popped up like mushrooms in a forest. People swallow everything they read off the world wide web and question nothing! (I am not excused, but I had once fallen for such baiting over the Internet) 

This, I believe, greatly impedes our happiness.

This has gone on for so long already where the only reason why I started writing this is because of the security guard who greeted me a “Merry Christmas” when entering the premises. He wore the smile that I was telling you about, and it lifted my spirits enough to write this.

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