“Mappiness,” a new happiness-measuring app launched by the London School of Economics as part of a research project, is a tool used to research the contentment levels of 80,000 iPhone users through regularly posted updates regarding the respondents’ activities, locations and happiness. Research shows having sex makes us happiest, while Christmas won the title of happiest day of the year, with jubilance peaking at 1:50pm.
The study also found despondency at its height on Tuesdays, and specifically on January 31 at 8pm. Other mood-darkening activities include: lying sick in bed, waiting on line, commuting, and working. According to lead researcher George MacKerron, the app is an attempt to “better find answers on the impacts of natural beauty and environmental problems on individual and national well being.”
Okay, so the mission is a little highfalutin, but the research results underpin a pretty trenchant fact: most of our lives are spent doing what makes us unhappy.
We put in far more hours a year commuting to work or at the grocery store, waiting in line for some bruised bananas and milk, instead of having sex. Even if we had sex on Christmas Day at 1:50pm under the gingerbread men garland and gold tinseled tree, the beatitude of the act would hardly carry over into the new year’s continual grind and flu-like symptoms.
Perhaps the US should give this app a chance. Thanksgiving at 4pm just might top Christmas.