In today's day and age, we measure everything. There are sensors to measure how many steps you take in a day. There are sensors to see how well you sleep. Companies are working on wearables that detect various diseases and disorders you may have. Sadly, most people are ignoring mental health and, as we've seen from some recent high-profile suicides, this is an area that could make great improvements in the world.
Alex Sass is hoping to jumpstart this field by creating a tool called PostMood. The idea is that awareness about yourself is key and that if you're aware of your mood at certain times, places, or around certain topics, you can make life changes that will make you happier or even seek out professional help.
PostMood works by connecting to your Facebook feed. It reviews your posts to start building scores based on what you have posted and how you have responded to various situations and then feeds the results through IBM's Watson. It's not entirely passive though. When you login, the site asks how you're feeling and gives daily challenges that you can partake in, all of which presumably impact your overall scores. You can also connect your Fitbit and Twitter accounts to the site to provide an even better view of your overall happiness.
To address privacy concerns, PostMood says that none of a user's personal information is being stored. Once the data is crunched by Watson, it's converted into numerical values and then deleted.
Based on the data, PostMood claims that the happiest country on Earth is the UK with a score of 68%, followed by New Zealand at 66% with Canada and the United States tied for third with 63%. Within the UK, the happiest areas are the Scottish Borders (84%) and Bodmin (82%), while the saddest place in the UK is Royston at 50%.
It's hard to say how accurate this information is, but if nothing else, it's an interesting glimpse into how you may be feeling and a good first start in using technology to improve happiness.
Image courtesy of PostMood