Don't Know How You Feel? Your iPhone Will Tell You


Harvard researchers have created new iPhone app called “Track Your Happiness” that randomly contacts iPhone users to ask what they’re doing and how they’re feeling. Kind of like Mom! Which raises the question, “why would you want such a thing?”

Nothing against moms, of course. They are great! Moms make life happen. But having people always trying to interact with us via text, email, phone, and other methods already takes up a lot of time. Now you want to make my gadgets bugging me, too?

Oh, but there’s a point to this happiness-tracking app: Our BFF, science. By setting yourself up with the app, you get notices via email and text that ask you about your mood and state of mind (you can decide the when’s and where’s of contact, which is advantage that Mom doesn’t often offer). The info you give is inventoried and eventually gets turned into a happiness report that provides data on how you happy (it can be a verb!) and with whom, doing what particular things.

The benefits are both macro and micro. On the big-picture scale, researchers have data that shed light on secret-secrets about how we human beings operate. Basically, our brains our hanging out in La-La-Land a LOT:

As DISCOVER reports, responders said they were daydreaming 46.9% of the time when the iPhone rang to check in on their thoughts.

Wondering why you haven’t finished that novel yet? Maybe there’s your answer—though University of California, Santa Barbara psych prof Jonathan Schooler says all your mind-wandering might be good for you, in that it often improves people’s abilities to solve-problems, and spurs creativity. So, you should be at least half-way done with your novel. However, survey results of 2,250 adult users of the app suggests that daydreaming also leads to unhappiness. Which is a problem. That you can solve, possibly, through day-dreaming some more? And then you’ll finish your novel, and be happy.

On the micro level, this app can help you become more honest with yourself, if you actually need that help. Maybe you think you like spending time with so-and-so, but your report indicates otherwise. Because your report is based on information that you provide, you can’t really argue with it, right? Doing so means arguing with yourself. If you try to justify why your on-spec belief doesn’t match up with your report, then maybe it’s time you see a professional about this. Or just get rid of your iPhone.

iPhone App Measures Your Happiness [Mashable]

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin