I just came across the Virtual Happiness Project. It’s a research project with an interesting hypothesis:
1) The origins of happiness lie in social interaction. From sitting round the camp fire to the modern dinner table, we thrive when we are interacting.
2) The Internet has become a more and more social place in recent years. It’s the modern day camp fire.
3) Is the Internet virtual happiness?
These people are trying to evaluate the links between happiness and online experiences. Like many other research projects, it’s trying to unpick what it is that makes us happy. But what excites me about their work is that they are examining happiness in a truly modern context using the Internet as their frame of reference. Interesting stuff.
Take a look at their website and the short video there which explains the project in more detail. More details as and when they publish their findings.