Dan Gilbert on happiness

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

I respect Gilbert but he has overlooked something big. Has anyone designed a technology to enable people to spend more time with family and friends? YES.

Washing machine – instead of hours washing clothes, we can spend time with family and friends.
Cars, trains, planes etc – instead of walking everywhere or going by boat we can cut travelling time and spend time with family and friends.
Online shopping – save the time it takes to get to the supermarket, load up a trolley and back in the car: spend more time with family and friends.

Every technology designed to save time actually enables us to spend more time doing the things we like doing, if we choose to do them. In fact probably people are choosing to do the wrong things with their extra time if they are unhappy.

In a study mentioned in the 2006 BBC series ‘The Happiness Formula’, most people chose real, earnt happiness over artificial drug-induced happiness. There is more to happiness than pleasant feeling: meaning and achievement can involve unpleasantness but overall make a life worth having.

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