Personal happiness can’t be found on the screen

Photo: Taken from techcrunch.com on Pseudo-Therapy Apps

Helping to relieve depression is important, and relying on support from friends and family is far better than relying on an app.

With the hope of putting the “app” in “happy,” Happify has become the most popular depression-conquering app. It claims to help users to be more optimistic and self aware through the app’s research backed activities.

Happify makes the route to happiness like a test that never ends. It starts by prompting users to complete a questionnaire so that they can discover both their mental health strengths and challenges. It then puts the user in a happiness category, one of which is described as “just getting by”—which certainly doesn’t boost morale.

Cellphones in general are a problem

Research shows that smartphones don’t make us happy, so an app shouldn’t be any different. Studies have found that replacing human interaction with electronic communication causes little, if any, lasting satisfaction. While smartphones are like a dear friend to many, for some the digitally mediated communication causes face-to-face interaction to feel daunting.

Certain parts of life should always be nurtured outside of our phones, and good mental health is one of them. Yes, it is hard for some people to discuss their issues face-to-face, so if needed online could be a starting point. But it’s important to eventually have human interaction, no matter how daunting.

Apps will never be able to tackle negative feelings more successfully than a hike, a day at the beach, or a coffee date with a friend. Apps like Happify are positive ideas, but in the long run getting off screens and living in the moment with direct connections will be the true path to happiness.

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