What is the difference between happiness and joy? The pursuit of happiness is a wild goose chase- we may never achieve happiness, that ethereal and elusive state, because wanting it is what makes us, well, want it. Joy on the other hand is obtainable in little bite-sized moments, like your first taste of a really good piece of chocolate or when you hug someone you didn’t expect to see and didn’t realize you missed. Enjoyment and connection make joy possible. If you can get both in one shot then you are doing pretty good.
Recent media trends have made it possible for us to relate and reach out to each other through entertainment that is more interactive than the old consumption model. Some of you haters might be thinking, “technology is creating false intimacy, kids are not developing social skills, naggy, nag, yada, yada…” For a lot of us though, the internet is the perfect place to connect to other human beings. The protection of semi-anonymity brings out our inner Bat Dad or allows us to be more vulnerable than we could be with someone face to face.
I was inspired to think about our ability to experience joy via some seemingly wasteful applications (like Vine or meme generators) after watching a TED Talks video with Ze Frank. Incidentally, he is the one who coined the term “techno-joy”. Frank has created a bunch of interactive projects that link us across age, gender, culture, across the world. He argues that, “life is being lived in there,” the virtual space we share, and this life is legitimate. Most of the time we interact individually with online content. We experience a prank one person at a time, we wonder how the victim reacted after the video ended, we admire or hate the perpetrator. The connection between creator and consumer are valid and meaningful.
I hope to engage with you in a similar relationship through this blog. I will post things that make me feel, things that are sincere, joyful things. Please comment with similar findings and your reactions to the content noted here. It is nice to know you.
“To feel and be felt, is the most fundamental source that we are all after.” –Ze Frank