(I like this screen shot. Consider me inspired.)
I read the other day about happiness and the studies that state the obvious. We watch too much television and we stare at our computer screens too much. We love these things and with good reason as they do bring many cool things into our lives. What they don't bring, however, are the levels of happiness to our lives that we might think.
The social networking claims of many of our favorite sites can be quite awesome when fulfilled. But—and maybe I'm just talking about me here—if we don't take advantage of the actual "social" part of the equation, then we're still just staring at a computer screen and not achieving happiness the way that we really could.
For unrelated reasons, I turned off my phone's Twitter updates for a couple of days. At first, it was tough to feel so "out of the loop," but within a few hours it was hard to imagine anything of value that I was missing out on. (No offense to my valued friends. I caught up on your tweets later on in the evening by perusing your feeds at home.) But certainly, I missed out on nothing that required my immediate attention.
Anyway, I think back to a simpler time, the nineties, and I remember that I had no computer for most of that decade. I don't think I even had a cell phone. But I was always out socializing. Clubs, bars, movies with friends, in my free time, I was maximizing my opportunities for fun. I know better than to blame the Internet for my change in lifestyle. Aging plays its role in slowing down the need to be out and about. I'm married to the love of my life and we are raising a five-year-old boy, a three-year-old girl, and another baby girl is on her way. If I'm not working, I'm either sleeping or resting on my couch and "socializing" through your wonderful blogs. It's not quite getting out and maximizing my opportunities for fun, but I'm on a budget and, forgiving the cost of Internet access, this is cheaper than meeting friends at a bar.
Still, the happiness I seek isn't being found here. I need to get better at making friends and spending time with those friends. I joke with my wife that I was "awesome in '93" and that she should have known me back then. There's no reason I can't show her that awesomeness in 2009. It'll be the year that these Beziats get social again. That's the plan anyway. Happiness. Refresh.