Happy High
The pursuit of happiness is being augmented by mood tracking apps
Tech / 9 Apr 2012
Sleep tracking, calorie counting, outfit monitoring and fitness recording are just a few of the ways people have been utilizing life-tracking technologies. Designer Nicholas Felton even developed a life-tracking app that turns mundane daily activities into beautiful visualizations. Now, new happiness-tracking apps are emerging to help people recognize and record their good moods in order to potentially capitalize on the elements influencing them.
Finding a ‘happy place’ has never been easier, thanks to Happstr. Developed during a SXSWi hackathon, the app aims to spread positivity among friends. As one of its creators explained in an interview with The Atlantic, “There are studies that have shown even a third degree friend with a higher happiness level improves your own happiness by 6 percent.” To put the statistic into action, Happster users check themselves in during their happiest moments. Similar to Foursquare, an icon pinpoints their locations on an interactive map, which can be tracked over time. It also displays check-ins from other nearby users, encouraging people to share the exultant moments happening around them.
Mobile app Mappiness sends users daily emotional polls in an effort to gain insight on the ways in which local environment impacts happiness. To create a clearer picture of possible variables that are affecting their moods, respondents are encouraged to include details like their specific location, the noise level around them, and who they are with. Creators George MacKerron and Susana Mourato, both of the London School of Economics, designed the tool with the intent of culling data to be used for academic research. But users also benefit by having access to their data, which is charted to identify when, where and with whom they are happiest.
iPhone/ iPad app MoodPanda tracks and diagrams individuals’ happiest moments by prompting users to assign daily events a 1-10 rating based on their degree of happiness. The service then presents the data to the user in the form of pie charts, graphs, news feeds, and maps. The storytelling visualizations, or Mood Maps, identify habits that potentially cause one to experience an emotional shift in temperament. MoodPanda also allows users to compare their happiness maps with the overall mood of the world, various cities, and the general population as broken down by gender. Participants have the option to keep their charts private or, for those who want to give fair warning to friends and family, to share them via social media.
©The Intelligence Group