Happy Happy Happy Apps!

So as I looked through all of these apps I saw a common trend which started to be tracking people’s happiness. For most of the apps it tries to see how happy you are the mood you’re in what kind of people surround you and etc in order to obtain statistics on people. They want to see the kind of things that make people happy to than see how they can help. But each app wants to find ways in which they help people become happier for their everyday life. I liked that each app lets you know how happy you might be and tracks everything for you so you can know how happy healthy you might be or just plain happy. They want to help you keep on track with your happiness so they send you alerts when to add your mood and etc.

For instance an app I downloaded to try the “Happify” one started off asking so many questions from your age? to do you think you’re in a serious relationship? or are you a picasso or accountant kind of person? they ask all these questions to know how you feel about yourself and what you think about happy. When you signup than you can do different task. Like one I chose where you stop comparing yourself to others than you might pick an activity i chose one and they showed me three different tasks. The first was Not That Into You the second Love What You Have and the third You Decide How! So I went to choose Love What You Have. This task would help me combat negative bias, reduce feelings of sadness or hopelessness and feel better about life. So far from just looking at this app and the kind of task they might have you do or what the activity will help you get through it seems like they really want to help your life be more happy and healthy.

They want to focus on how each person can become healthier with their lifestyle choice and through each app like the “Headspace” which tries to meditate with you you can have a healthier mind. I like each app finds ways they can help with each person. They’ll give activities that can help the mind they might soothe you with music or pictures they all want to know what really makes people happy. These apps want you to track your happiness and learn how you can change the way you think and your attitude such as the “Live Happy” these apps want you too change for the better.

I downloaded that app that I mentioned because I do want to see how this can affect my happiness or actually do make me happier. I am the kind of person to get mad easily I can be disrespectful or catch attitude. My mother has always said I’ve been like that to since little and I do want to change that. It doesn’t look good in a young girl to act like that anyways. I want to change and have a positive attitude always or find ways to forget things and not get mad.

Apps help but not really.

My thoughts about these happiness apps are a little diverse. In one side I think they are might be good to collect data such as a person’s location where they live, their gender, ethnicity etc. and see how that affects their wellbeing. Meaning, if they have economic stability, enough resources provided by the government and so on. However, I also think that the apps are not enough for a person to reach happiness. Yes, it gives some tips of what can be done to feel better at the moment. Although, it doesn’t give you exact processes that would help you solve the problems that may be affecting your happiness. Here are some thoughts about some of the apps:

“Track your happiness” is the app that makes you take a survey at the beginning asking you about general information about yourself, like gender, ethnicity, age etc. then this app sends you surveys to your email where at the beginning of the day, the middle and at night. In each of these surveys there are about 15 questions that ask you what you are doing, how do you feel, etc. At the end of each survey this app collects the data and graphs it in correlation with your happiness and activities accordingly. I think this app is not so helpful to improve a person’s happiness but more like to collect information of how people’s happiness is affected by their environment and daily activities.

“Happy habits” is an app that you can download to your phone and this app contains a series of activities that you can do to increase your level of happiness at the moment. I first took the survey with 119 questions, which at the end gave me a detailed summary of what are my characteristics as a person and how i could improve in them to be happy. The summary about the characteristics measured them from low, average and high. The characteristics measured were: optimism, illness susceptibility, locus of control, compassion, trusting of others, affiliation, pleasantness, emotional stability, conscientiousness, assertiveness, self-confidence, gratefulness, approval seeking, and playfulness. Mines ended up being sort of accurate I would say, and the advice that they give is realistic. Asides from the test this app contains information that educates people about cognitive psychology, which is the approach the application takes. Moreover, they have meditation techniques and activities that are in fact relaxing and help improve happiness. I have tried meditation before and I can say that after it I would always end up relaxed and feeling fresh in mind and body.

Emotion sense app claimed that they were going to collect data from my phone including my location, texts, calls and more. When I read this, I immediately went back and did not agree to the terms and conditions. I already don’t trust facebook and some other websites that have my private information. I obviously wouldn’t like another app to get this private information from me. I would feel very uncomfortable with someone reading my messages or spying on my calls. Not that I have anything bad or embarrassing to hide but I just like the fact that I can keep some things to myself.

What appeals to me

Happiness Apps? I had no idea that such a thing dared to exist, but alas, it does. These are mobile apps that kind of mind your business. Being open-minded, one just might give back to themselves. It’s not that “stars and explosions” phenomenon, but with open-mindedness, you can see yourself for better or for worse.

In-flow gives us a “day in the life”. It’s kind of general although they try to be as specific as possible. I must admit that when I pulled up to my nephew’s baby shower and checked my phone, In-flow seemed a tad imposing. The timing was just not good, however I felt compelled to respond to get it out the way. Upon my return home, mind you I’ve been driving all day on my day off, I just don’t do that, but I’ve vowed to myself to be present at all costs. I’ve covered every borough in the city yesterday as I wanted my nephew’s baby shower to be a success, and I was no good when I returned home. Overall I felt contentedly satisfied  with the outcome of my day.

I was tired, extremely tired when I got home. Lo and behold, here’s In-flow on my phone asking me how I felt. It felt like such an imposition and that feeling lasted all of thirty seconds, after about thirty seconds, I was afforded a great moment of introspection, however vague. This pleased me very much, to be able to reflect on the pleasantries and accomplishments in conjunction with “being present” for my family.

I then came upon another app in which I downloaded. This app is called Emotion-sense. Emotion-sense seemed quite realistic insofar as breaking down my profile into 8 categories: Demographics, Personality; This has five subsections consisting of Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, and Openness. There’s Gratitude, Health/Subjective Health, Sociability which consists of Relationships and Time with Others, there’s Job Satisfaction, Life Aspirations which subsections include Altruistic: (unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others. It is the opposite of egoistic), Relationships, Economic, Political, Pleasure, Spiritual and Artistic. Mind you this Life Aspirations segment encompasses most of the things that life is in its totality. The final category but certainly not least in my opinion is Connectedness. I scored low on this but hey progress not perfection right?

These categories have allowed me, the individual, an opportunity to account for my life. Simply setting up my profile are what these attributes amount to. It’s made me look at myself and my life. A happiness tracker? Probably not. It felt more like a holistic accomplishment tracker thus determining ones life’s direction to date. I appreciated it.

Anything else outside of the Profile segment consists of a week of tracking and it is all technological. This requests locations, has graphs of ones moods at certain times of the day, etc. What I get from it all is that this monitoring of happiness and well-being is big business. Although most of the apps are free, the attention that they get out of sheer curiousity, will line pockets right nice.

I’m no hater. If I like what I’ve seen, I will engage it. These apps are an effective way to check my feelings and moods, however, these apps didn’t check my happy. I checked my happy. Perhaps I was expecting a different approach from the apps I’ve looked into. Nevertheless it had a calming effect on me, allowing me to reflect and introspect in that order. Reminding me to remember where I came from, what I’ve come through. This work has, I guess it did please me somewhat. The nostalgia, the surviving it all, what I’ve amounted to after the pains and pleasures. To sum it all up, the Emotion Sense app has renewed my level of gratitude.

ENG 1101 HW for Tuesday (9/2)

Hi everyone!

So good to meet you all today, and to get to know a bit about you and your ideas on happiness. I’m going to take photos of your happiness lists and post them to this site for next week 🙂

I know we went through a lot of material quickly at the end of class, so just a few reminders about what needs to happen before our next class on Tuesday (9/2). You should check your homework (as always), on our dynamic course schedule (under Schedule, and then ENG 1101 Schedule).

1. Get an OpenLab account and join our course site. Follow these instructions here. You should do this ASAP (like today, so in case you run into any problems with your e-mail, you can go to the Help Desk).

2. Review the Syllabus & OpenLab Composing rubric & guidelines/expectations, (both of which were also handed out in class), and browse through the rest of the OpenLab site.

3. Make your Introduction post. You can find more info. about what I’m looking for here, and see the post I already made for myself. Here’s info. about posting/categorizing/commenting, and here is info. about adding links, images, and video to your posts.

4. Read “How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know” (handed out in class, and also linked from our course schedule online) & blog in response. Check on the Schedule for information about what this post should include (and follow the OpenLab Composing Guidelines).

*All posts are due the night before class, so your Introduction post and your reading response posts (two separate posts) are due no later than Monday night. Make sure to go back and read through the posts before class, and comment on them if you can.

Whew! That’s it for now. I know it seems like a lot to do/learn, but once you get on OpenLab and get the hang of posting, it’s actually simple and fun. Please don’t hesitate to come see me in my office, Namm 520, today (I’ll be around from 1-2:30pm), e-mail me (jbelli@citytech.cuny.edu), or “comment” (click “reply” to this post) if you have any questions. And, most importantly, happy first day of the semester, and enjoy the holiday weekend ahead 🙂