Our level of happiness or unhappiness is reflected in the activities we do in our spare time, according to a new study by sociologists at the University of Maryland.
Using data collected over 30 years, researchers have concluded that people who are unhappy spend more time watching TV, while people who describe themselves as happy spend more time reading and socializing. .
According to sociologist John P. Robinson, co-author of the paper and a pioneer in studies on the use of time, watching television is a passive activity that often acts as an escape route. “The data suggest that watching television can offer immediate pleasure at the expense of long-term discomfort,” says the researcher, who adds that it is a comfortable and cheap activity that does not require company or effort. On the contrary, reading books, the press or magazines and interacting with others gives us long-term satisfaction.
Specifically, the data reveals that unhappy people consume 20% more television than happy people, regardless of educational level, income, age and marital status. Robinson warns that these numbers will increase significantly if the economy continues to worsen in the coming months.
And you, are you happy or unhappy? 😀