The “Quantified Self”

The article “An app for happiness? Somerville to test is out” by Jarret Bencks focuses on the development of a smartphone app, which is intended to increase the happiness of the citizens of Somerville. This is according to an announcement made by the city. To sum up what the app will do in a simpler way, what it’ll do is help users identify their Person Happiness Indicator (PHI) score and connect users to actions that will ultimately increase their happiness/well-being. The app is being created by The H(app)athon Project and it will be released sometime in 2014.

The article “The Happiest and Saddest Places in New York City, According to Twitter” by Brian Merchant emphasizes on the places that are considered the happiest and saddest by the citizens of the city. Researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute have come up with a geographical quantify on NYC’s happiness; and which they’re doing through Twitter. Citizens of New York will tweet how content they are, and with that data or information, they hope to build a real-time map of who’s happy and who isn’t in the five boroughs, which are Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Citizens have said that the places that make them happy are open spaced places such as Central Park. However, the place that makes the citizens of New York City the happiest is Times Square. This is according to the people’s tweets.

I personally believe that these two articles are good for the people, and the method being used to find out what promotes happiness for the citizens of Somerville and New York City. Technology is used on a daily basis by mostly everybody, and so using it to increase their happiness and well-being wouldn’t be considered a problem since technology is used actively.

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