U.S. Youth Tank Happy Index

Posted on: Monday, March 25th, 2024
Posted in: Sabbatical Shuffle, Unplugging | Leave a comment

Are we getting rusty at pursuing happiness? Yep. The younger you are, the more you feel your life is in the tank.

WashPost, CBS News, and myriad media reported last week on the 2024 World Happiness Index Report—released to help mark the United Nations International Day of Happiness. So how are we doing? As my Grandma would say, “Not so pretty good.” We fell from 15th to 23rd in a single year. And most alarming: Those under 30 are bringing us down, man.

Here are a few factoids to digest…

Americans under 30 rank #63 out of 143 countries.

Those of us over 60 do dang well—we rank 10th.

2024 marks the first year that the USA has ever fallen from the top 20.

Other countries also show a downward spiral for youth, including Canada.

Young females report even lower numbers than young males.

  • Hey “KIDS,” what seems to be the problem?

Call them early achievers? … Youth’s glum numbers resemble the pothole that usually trips people up in midlife years. But …kids these days… well, they grew up embracing the things that this website routinely blares are ultimately not good for you. Even if they feel pretty good at the time. Bad metaphor: Having fun sex with someone who’s infected with stuff.

Theses researchers don’t say much about the issues of those under 30, but I will: C-phone addiction; SM damage; rampant polarization throughout our (un)fair country; broken families; problems with money, debt, work satisfaction; and unrealistic expectations.

To be fair to youngsters, we do seem to live in a time when almost everyone is complaining about something almost all the time. But how sad that the fountain of youth has been poisoned by this darkness. Gosh, haven’t they heard about the roaring 20s!?!

  • Help is out there, and I mean out there

So what to do? Limit the phone and tech use, impossible as that sounds. Go outside and soak up nature, rain or shine. Hang out—in the flesh—with people you like. Focus on family; if yours is absent, seek or create another. Take long Breakaways; if that’s not feasible, take short ones. Chase healthy living, including exercise, diet, sleep, the usual. Look for beauty and create more. And above all, just try to have FUN.

  • Those dang Scandinavians

Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden make up the top four, while Norway proudly places 7th. As a person of ~95% Nordic ancestry (who has spent time there), this showing is no surprise. They get lotsa things right. Those who disagree (like the politicians barking about socialism), must not care about happiness. Which also requires an open mind!

Hey, America, it could be worse: Poor Afghanistan sits on the bottom of all lists. Ponder living there when you’re feeling like this land bums you out.

And above all, keep the faith.  : )

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