“HAPPINESS IS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED” – IS IT?

“HAPPINESS IS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED” – IS IT?

“Happiness is only real when shared” was the conclusion that Alexander Supertramp came to, after he went on a rogue journey of what can be called his pursuit of happiness. In one way or another, I do believe we’re all on our own sort of pursuit of happiness. However, in contrast to what was left carved on wood in that old camper van in the middle of the Alaska, taking this message literally has somehow turned our bright blue-skied world into one scribbled in all shades of gray.

Teenagers are nowadays undergoing much higher levels of anxiety than they were 10 years back. It is not an uncommon set, to go into a restaurant and find couples having a lovely romantic dinner. With their phones.

I mean, it doesn’t really matter if they’re actually dining with their significant other. What is important is that their friends on Instagram have the best opportunity to enjoy that moment.

Or maybe that their Whatsapp groups can have a chance to tell them how amazing their dinner must be.

The way I see it, it’s a fucking disgrace. There’s no other way to put it.  We’ve come to a point where the use of technology, built with the purpose of enhancing the number and quality of the relationships we have, is doing the exact opposite. And for sure the naysayers will come up with the argument of “well, that is exactly what evolution…”. Well… screw evolution! Because if evolution means we’re all going to become as physically socially active as two stones in a forest, I really have to say evolution is taking us in the wrong direction.

The fact is that finding happiness in solitude is probably the biggest challenge we have in the so-called pursuit of happiness.

However, it is when you actually put in the work to evolve yourself that you’ll start becoming better at it. Some of the happiest feelings, or memories of them, that I have, happened in solitude. Either it being while surfing in Indonesia, motorbiking through Vietnam, or merely strolling around downtown Lisbon – there is this power-building feeling associated with living a moment solely for my own pleasure. And I’m not trying to go into the carpe diem stuff here. No. This is simply enjoying life as it comes to you.

At the end of the day, we can sum it all up in one word: ego. Let’s break it down: when social media started to come into scene and people starting “sharing”, they mainly shared positive stuff that they wanted other people to see. Basically, you’re feeling happy and you want to share your happiness. People then started to share not only the good things in life, but also the bad ones. If someone in your family died, if something bad happened to someone you know, if somehow you’re feeling blue, you want people to know it.

In short, people started sharing on social media when:

  1. Something amazing happened;
  2. Something horrible happened;

However, we’re now on the secondary level. A much scarier one from where I see it. We’re now at a stage where there is not only a will, but a need for others to look at us and perceive us – not as who and what we are, but as who and what we think others would like us to be.

We’re living in a twitched reality. In a distorted state of self-awareness. We’re focusing ever more on how others see us and ever less on how we would like to see ourselves.

In short, we’re now facing the era where people are sharing on social media when:

  1. Something amazing happened;
  2. Something horrible happened;
  3. Something happened

 

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Rodrigo Castro

An engineer who found his craft in people, I'm nonconformist and seekful, with a tendency to procrastinate. Ever-seeking for opportunities to become the better version of oneself, I'm a pessimist that always looks at life from an optimistic point of view. A believer in axioms and a denier of absolute truths, I'm a traveler that finds comfort in family and discomfort where they are. An existentialist in the making, I'm craving my path into building something great.

LISBON, PORTUGAL

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