100 Happy Days

I quit the 100 Happy Days challenge after 12 days. I started the challenge with the best of intentions, but I quickly found myself disillusioned with it. It all started when I noticed a lot of my friends taking part and I thought it would be a fun and great way to inject my life with a bit more positivity, but I quickly become overly aware of it and it soon became a bit contrived on my part.
The big problem for me was I didn’t feel like any of it was an accurate representation of my life, what I do, how I feel or what truly makes me happy. Not every moment in life comes Instagram ready. For one thing some people in my life wouldn’t be very comfortable with me whipping out my phone for a selfie to prove my happiness. It also ruins the moment a lot of the time. Of course some people, my friends included, have made a great go at this happiness project and it has been fun to see at times.
After posting my pictures on Instagram for all to “heart” I often found myself thinking, does this actually make me happy? The answer was normally, not really. The big problem was it felt like I was trying to prove something to not only myself but others and I wasn’t even sure what it was that was trying to prove. But why do we feel the need to prove or show our happiness? I would rather people think “Hey, Danielle seemed very happy today” instead of “Hey, Danielle has a great Instagram profile with lovely filtered and artsy shots of the menial things that make her happy“. Our need for showing off and bragging is exasperated by our need to have likes, hearts, favourites and followers. I do often fall into that category but there was something extra contrived about 100 Happy Days for me, maybe because I’m a miserable miser and I have no happiness in my life?
I started writing this post before this video, ironically, went viral but it really made me think. For a while now I’ve become pretty disillusioned with social media, particularly Facebook, which fed into my issue with 100 Happy Days. From people on my Facebook timeline spending way too much time preening their pages a few times a day with pictures, videos and old news items to how much people share online right down to seeing people Facebooking those who they live with to tell them they’re coming down stairs, so please put the kettle on. Then there are those who treat their Facebook like it’s a Kodak picture ad. I enjoy sharing and seeing what my friends are up to, it’s one of the great aspects of social media, but I don’t need to see 3000 photos of your two day trip to Paris. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t even ask about friends trips anymore because I know everything from their pictures. I’ve really began to wonder though how could you be enjoying your holiday if you spend so much time taking photos for Facebook and ‘checking in”? I’ve been guilty of this numerous times, but I have cut down in recent years to the point that I update my Facebook very little because I felt like I was living my life for the benefit of social media. My Facebook is like a crypt now for my old, and somewhat fake life. I miss being handed real, tangible photos when you visit someone after their holiday. We are eliminating human contact more and more with each new app that’s flavour of the month.
I will put my hands up and admit that I am an over-sharer on Twitter, but Twitter moves so quick that my neuroses is quickly forgotten, unless you feel like scrolling through my 6,000+ tweets spanning 5 years. I mainly use social media as a way to promote my blog and keep up to date on news. If I wasn’t a journalist I don’t think I would be half as interested in Twitter.
Looking back at my few meek photos for 100 Happy Days does not bring happiness to me so therefor it was a failure. In some ways. I have decided to start challenging myself to do more exciting things and go on more adventures. Most importantly taking the time to appreciate the good things in life but in turn not ruin them by whipping out a camera to share them with everyone else. They should be my moments.

2 Comments

  1. May 16, 2014 / 5:04 pm

    Hey Danielle,

    I agree with you on this 100%. Sometimes it's best to take a step back and enjoy living in the moment as it's happening, rather than panicking about how you absolutely must capture it on your smartphone.

    I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! You can find the details at:
    http://jennydoraexplores.blogspot.fr/2014/05/the-liebster-award.html

    Much love to you. Jennydora xx

  2. May 16, 2014 / 5:04 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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