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Why Increased Efficiency Will Make Us Miserable


Stashed in: #happiness, Awesome, Forever Alone, Productivity, Favorites, University of Chicago

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Are there people who genuinely enjoy writing code from home with no social interaction beyond the occasional deliveryperson? That boggles the mind.

Extreme introverts might prefer this but you're right that it would make most people miserable. 

To your point:

The 2014 study “Social Interactions and Well-Being: The Surprising Power of Weak Ties” found that our daily interactions with “weak ties” (people we don’t know very well) have a positive correlation with our happiness and feelings of belonging. In other words, the more micro-interactions we have, the better we feel. The researchers also found this impact wasn’t limited to extroverts. On the contrary, they concluded it might be “especially beneficial” for introverts to have a high number of daily interactions.

In addition, a study by Elizabeth Dunn and Gillian Sandstrom found that, when it comes to our happiness, socialization trumps efficiency. Participants who followed directions to have a “genuine interaction with the cashier” by smiling, making eye contact and having a brief conversation were far more satisfied with their experience and happier in general than those directed to “make their interaction with the cashier as efficient as possible.”

Researchers from the University of Chicago found that commuters who were told to speak to the person sitting next to them reported their commute to be much more pleasant than those instructed to “enjoy their solitude.” Again, personality type had no effect.

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