The Happiness Trend

New social media challenge promotes people to lead happier lives

A new social media trend, the 100 Happy Days challenge, calls for people worldwide to find happiness among their busy lives. For 100 consecutive days, participants in the “Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?” challenge share snapshots of moments that make them happy to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #100happydays.

For Hockaday students, a huge pile of accumulated homework may seem to take away time needed to actively find happiness in their lives. In fact, the  challenge’s website claims that 71 percent of people who tried the challenge failed quoting “lack of time” as the main reason.

Sophomore Vivian Zhou recognizes it can be difficult at times. “Some days, when I’m really busy, it’s hard to stop and find something I can really use because I’m just so focused on getting everything done,” she said.

However, the percentage also inspires persistence in some participants. “The statistic actually motivated me to be among the 29 percent who managed to stay happy,” freshman Elizabeth Zhou said, who is not related to Vivian, after she started the challenge.

Participants will be rewarded for putting in the time to finish the challenge. The website claims that participants will not only be more optimistic, but that they will also “realize how lucky they are to have the life they have.”

Already halfway through the challenge, Vivian Zhou proves these claims true. Rather than complain about school, she said, “There are so many cool opportunities here, even on a day-to-day basis. In the classroom, we do a lot of really awesome things and Hockaday does a lot for us, so it’s never too hard to find something that makes me happy.”

After the challenge, though, it is up to the participants to maintain happiness.

Last summer, Junior Meredith Burke researched how to achieve happiness and, in a similar fashion to the challenge, completed something that made her happy every day including a car made of sand.

“Happiness is definitely a habit,” Burke said. “Keeping happiness is a resolution, not necessarily a goal. I still need to continually look for happiness to get in that habit.”

However, this challenge may not be for everyone. One freshman, who wished to stay anonymous, said, “I don’t think it’s a waste of time, but I think you can express your happiness in more constructive and productive ways…you don’t have to take pictures just to be happy.”

Elizabeth Zhou strives to keep the habit of appreciation through the 100 days. “I hope that even after the challenge,” she said,  “I’ll still try to find more time to be grateful.”

– Jenny Zhu