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تاريخ التسجيل: Jun 2019
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افتراضي Are We Living in a Post-Happiness World?

Today, researchers find it troubling that businesses have co-opted joy to market soda pop, productivity planners and storage containers. “Contentment is the next growth industry,â€‌ Dr. Keltner said. “Marketers will tell you buying things will make you happy even though the opposite is true.â€‌
A 2017 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that people who spent money on things that helped them save time — delivery or cleaning services, for example — were more satisfied than if they bought baubles or expensive wine. Having more free time helped reduce stress, the study found.
But Dr. Keltner said something else is making happiness harder to attain: a lack of togetherness. He pointed to churches and other religious congregations, which have historically been central to a community’s integrity. “Church gave you awe, joy and ecstasy,â€‌ Dr. Keltner said. “You collected in a group. You sang a little. You gave money. You got to chant.â€‌
With the rise of Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites, virtual communities are replacing real-world gatherings. With it, the way we relate to one another is changing too. “Awe and laughter have been undermined,â€‌ Dr. Keltner said. “We don’t have the means to physically gather like we used to.â€‌
Sharon Salzberg, a teacher of Buddhist meditation and the author of “Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness,â€‌ said people are re-examining happiness because they are worried: about health care, the economy and the unrelenting chaos in today’s politically divisive world.
“I was the defender of happiness when my books came out,â€‌ Ms. Salzberg said. “A number of people have been saying, â€کWhy don’t you say â€کjoy’?â€‌ Happiness was dismissed as purely the pursuit of pleasure, she said. But it is significantly more complex. “I like redeeming the idea and meaning around happiness, to have more clarity and deep understanding,â€‌ she said. “So people know what happiness actually is.â€‌
Does Ms. Fetell Lee believe Americans are living in a post-happiness era? No, she said. But she has observed a shift. “I don’t think about happiness anymore,â€‌ she said. “I think about joy. And if you string together enough moments of joy, maybe you can have a happy life.â€‌
Laura M. Holson is a writer for The New York Times.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.
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