There is an interesting trend on Twitter today where Richard Osman who co-presents the quiz show Pointless has asked people to provide details of what makes them happy. It isn’t that straightforward, as people have to do it in only three words using #3wordhappiness. It appears to be for something that he is doing and lots of people have responded to the request.
If you read some of the comments they range from the profound to the humorous but clearly they all matter in some way to the people that have posted them. As an example some I have seen include
“being cancer free”, “grandchildren arriving unexpectedly” and “my two kids” through to “clean fresh socks”,, “fetch another beer” and “beer and pizza”.
What is clear is that most people seem to be viewing it in a very short term way based around what makes them happy at that moment in time. I found myself thinking very carefully about the question and musing deeply on what really makes me happy (assuming we don’t want to have a discussion about what happiness is).
Being able to crowdsource responses means that we can do research in a completely different way. Not enough businesses and organisations make the most of their digital presence to find out people’s views. There is often a discussion that the users on social media are not representative, and that can be true. However, as part of the overall gathering of feedback harnessing the views of the social media and Internet users is incredibly important.
Many companies have got to grips with using social media for broadcasting information or for engaging but we are still learning about how to use it effectively for research. After all the people who are following organisations on social media are doing so because they see it as important, relevant or beneficial so it may be time that we reward them by recognising their importance to us.
If you are interested after pondering the question for some time I decided to go for “horses, gerbils, purpose” a mix of both short and longer term elements. What would your three words be on what makes you happy?