Are we really so unhappy? Have women been getting more and more unhappy since the 1970s? I would really like to know why anyone would want to conduct a study on whether women are happy or not. But that said, if women in general are unhappy, it could explain the rise of social networks and the large amount of women flocking to them. Social networks provide outlets for women to converse, share thoughts and provide support.
Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, writes, “It’s women. According to study after study, women are becoming more and more unhappy. This drop in happiness is found in women across the social and economic landscape. It doesn’t matter what their marital status is, how much money they make, whether or not they have children, their ethnic background, or the country they live in. Women around the world are in a funk.”
“And it’s not because of the multitude of crises we are facing. Women’s happiness has been on a downward trend since the early 1970s, when the General Social Survey, a landmark study, began examining the social attitudes of women and men — who, by the way, have gotten progressively happier over the years.”
“When you think about all that has happened over the last four decades — with women securing greater opportunity, greater achievement, greater influence, and more money — the decline in our collective state of mind seems to defy logic, and raises the vexing question: What in the world is going on?”
Years ago, I had a very well known beauty client who conducted a study to uncover what makes women happy. The result wasn’t love, family, personal time or some of the things you would expect. The result was very simply “To Do Lists.” We love to make lists and cross off things as we get them done. Makes sense, doesn’t it? The sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. That knowledge was used later for a prescription medicine. We created a calendar/to do list tool that met with great success.
It is interesting to keep this trend tucked in the corner of your mind though as you develop social media content. If women truly are feeling so unhappy, the right tone, the right messages become even more important for delivering success.
The right branded content and applications for in the social networking space can set the stage for helping defeat this unhappiness trend. In fact, the adoption of many of the tools that can be found online such as cell phone applications give evidence to women’s need to accomplish more on any given day. And the collective whole joining together to fight a cause by raising money or to support one another is also a great way to bring happiness to others while feeling good about oneself.
If you’re interested in exploring this more, the Huffington post is going to be featuring more posts by bestselling author and lecturer Marcus Buckingham. Marcus will be giving a look at “What’s Happening to Women’s Happiness?” a post in which he drills into the data on women and happiness, and looks at what is causing the downward drift. He also sets the table for the coming weeks during which he will lay out his prescriptions for bucking the unhappiness trend, the subject of his latest book Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently,” which will be published on September 29th (just six days before our Books section launches!).
Marcus also will introduce his new Strong Life Test, a tool to help women recognize precisely which parts of their lives are going to bring them the most joy, pleasure, energy, satisfaction, and, ultimately, greater happiness. According to Marcus, “It doesn’t give you all the answers, but it tells you where to start.”
He will be blogging about: “The Myth of Multitasking,” “The Myth of More Free Time,” “The Myth of Kids Wanting More Time with Their Working Mothers,” and “The Myth of Striving for a Balanced Life” (he feels women need to imbalance their lives, putting more emphasis on those things that most fulfill them).