New York Times: Surprise Family Reunion Videos Are Giving Us All the Feels

New York Times: Surprise Family Reunion Videos Are Giving Us All the Feels. “Videos of fully vaccinated people surprising their loved ones are making the rounds on social media. The clips fall somewhere between ‘Candid Camera’ and military homecomings, and show family members spontaneously laughing, crying, hugging and wrapping their heads around the fact that someone they haven’t seen in over a year is there in the flesh.”

University of British Columbia: UBCO study says it’s not if, but how people use social media that impacts their well-being

University of British Columbia: UBCO study says it’s not if, but how people use social media that impacts their well-being. “New research from UBC Okanagan indicates what’s most important for overall happiness is how a person uses social media. Derrick Wirtz, an associate professor of teaching in psychology at the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, took a close look at how people use three major social platforms—Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—and how that use can impact a person’s overall well-being.”

PsyPost: Analysis of 31,500 social media photos finds a connection between nature and happiness

PsyPost: Analysis of 31,500 social media photos finds a connection between nature and happiness. “The researchers used artificial intelligence to gather 31,534 photographs from 185 countries that had been uploaded to the website Flickr and automatically detect their content. They found that photographs tagged as #fun, #vacations and #honeymoons were more likely to contain elements of nature such as plants, water and natural landscape compared to photographs tagged #daily or #routines.”

Anthropocene: Using social media to measure air pollution’s psychological toll

Anthropocene: Using social media to measure air pollution’s psychological toll. “People are less happy on days when the air is more polluted, according to an analysis of 210 million posts on the Chinese social media site Sina Weibo. Researchers have suspected that air pollution takes a psychological toll generally, and that dirty air due to industrialization, coal burning, and motor vehicles has become a drag on well-being for Chinese city dwellers. But these effects are difficult to measure.”

The Sociable: AI for governments monitoring citizen happiness

The Sociable: AI for governments monitoring citizen happiness. “Governments may use information gleaned from AI in a beneficial way in monitoring citizen happiness, but this type of data collection carries ethical concerns. The Japanese company NTT DATA has recently collaborated with Spanish startup Social Coin, in a bid to develop an Artificial Intelligence platform used to glean social data from different places around the world. This begs the question: to what end? I decided to dig a little deeper into the full potential and ramifications of using such an AI application in governance.”

The Hindu: The unbearable lightness of joy

New-to-me, from The Hindu: The unbearable lightness of joy. “The Danish word hygge, which encapsulates the above in pithy detail, is not just a word for sesquipedalians, the melancholic, or frenzied retail marketing (it became a mainstay of festive advertising campaigns in the U.S. and the U.K. last year), but is also indicative of how languages not only articulate culture, but arguably define them as well. That interconnection, and fascination with how different cultures and languages define and perceive happiness, is what motivated Tim Lomas to start The Positive Lexicography Project, an online database of words related to the concept of joy from all languages, in 2015.”