Happiness Digital Technology and Social Networks

Part of the Studies in Rhythm Engineering book series (SRE)


This chapter focuses on the analysis of the impact of new technologies on happiness. Traditionally, studies on the impact of technology on subjective well-being have been carried out by philosophers or thinkers and have generally been relatively negative. In this chapter, a pragmatic approach is adopted. It starts from accepting that technology offers tools that can have positive or negative effects on the happiness of individuals, depending largely on how the technology is used. As regards the new digital technology, the analysis takes as a central point the study of the impact on happiness of social networks and the Internet. In this sense, it is considered that although social networks can have a negative impact on the subjective well-being of individuals, in general their impact is positive due in large part to the possibilities that connectivity opens up. It is also argued that precisely the positive effect of social networks on happiness is one of the factors that contribute to explaining the impressive success of social networks. Social networks offer users something they strongly want, communicate and stay in touch with family and friends. This work closes with the analysis of the impact of a specific social network, Facebook, on the subjective well-being of individuals.


Happiness Subjective well-being Technology Digital technology Internet Social networks 


  1. Ahn, N., & Mochón, F. (2010). La felicidad de los españoles: Factores explicativos. Revista De Economía Aplicada, XVIII, 54, 5–31.Google Scholar
  2. Ahn, N., Mochón, F., & De Juan, R. (2012). La felicidad de los jóvenes. Papers Revista De Sociología, 97(2), 407–430.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, J. and Rainie, L. (2018). The future of well-being in a tech-saturated world. Pew Research Center. Internet & Technology. April 17.
  4. Andrews, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social Indicators of Well-Being. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Argyle, M. (2002) The psychology of happiness. Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Bargh, J. A., McKenna, K. Y. A., & Fitsimons, G. G. (2002). Can you see the real me? Activation and expression of the true self on the Internet. Journal of Social Issues, 58, 33–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blitz, M. (2014) Understanding heidegger on technology. The New Atlantis, Number 41, Winter 2014 (pp. 63–80).
  8. Brannan, D., & Mohr, C. D. (2018). Love, friendship, and social support. In R. Biswas-Diener & E. Diener (Eds), Noba textbook series: Psychology. Champaign, IL: DEF publishers.Google Scholar
  9. Buss, D. (2000). The evolution of happiness. American Psychologist, 55(1), 15–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Campbell, A. (1976). Subjective measures of well-being. American Psychologist, 31, 117–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campbell, A., Converse, P.E., & Rodgers, W.L. (1976). The quality of American life. Perceptions, evaluations and satisfactions. Russel Sage FoundationGoogle Scholar
  12. Carmody, T. (2018) Facebook is in a trust crisis. Adweek. January 23.
  13. Crooker, K., & Near, J. (1998). Happiness and satisfaction: Measures of affect and cognition? Social Indicators Research, 44, 195–224.Google Scholar
  14. Cummins, R. A. (1996). The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos. Social Indicators Research, 38, 303–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. De Juan, R., Mochón, F., & Rojas, M. (2014). Expectations and happiness: evidence from Spain. Journal of Social Research & Policy, 5(2), 89–102.Google Scholar
  16. Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsem, R. J., & Griffin, S. A. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Diener, E., Seligman, M., Choi, H., & Oishi, S. (2018). Happiest people revisited. Perspectives on Psychological Science, March 29.
  19. Dodds, P., & Danforth, C. (2009). Measuring the happiness of LargeScale written expression: songs, blogs, and presidents. Journal of Happiness Studies, 11(4), 441–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dumbar, R. (1998). Grooming, gossip, and the evolution of language. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Easterbrook, G. (2004) The progress paradox: How life gets better while people feel worse. Random House.Google Scholar
  22. Easterlin, R. (1973). Does money buy happiness? The Public Interest, 30, 3–10.Google Scholar
  23. Easterlin, R. (1974) Does economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence. In: P.A. David & M.W. Reder (Eds.), Nations and households in economic growth (pp. 89–125). Academic Press.Google Scholar
  24. Easterlin, R. (2017). Paradox lost? Review of Behavioral Economics, 4(4), 311–339.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Easterlin, R. A., & Angelescu, L. (2009). Happiness and growth the world over: time series evidence on the happiness-income paradox. IZA Discussion Paper, num. 4.060.Google Scholar
  26. Easterlin, R. A., Angelescu, L., Switek, M., Sawangfa, O, & Zweig, J.S. (2010). The happiness-income paradox revisited. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).Google Scholar
  27. Ellul, J. (1964). The technological society. John Wilkinson.Google Scholar
  28. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A. (2002). Subjective questions to measure welfare and well-being. Discussion paper TI 2002–020/3. Tinbergen Institute.Google Scholar
  29. Frank, M., Mitchell, L., Dodds, P., & Danforth, C. (2013). Happiness and the patterns of life: A study of geolocated Tweets. Scientific Reports, 3(2625).Google Scholar
  30. Frey, B., & Stutzer. (2001). Happiness and economics: How the economy and institutions affect human well-being. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Frey, B., & Stutzer, A. (2000). Happiness, economy and institutions. Economic Journal, 110, 918–938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Frey, B., & Stutzer, A. (2002). What can economists learn from happiness research? Journal of Economic Literature, 40, 402–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Grinde, B. (2002). Happiness in the perspective of evolutionary psychology. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3, 331–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gui y Sugden, 2005). Gui, B., & Sugden, R. (2005). Why interpersonal relations matter for economics. In B. Gui, R. Sugden (Eds.) Economics and social interaction accounting for interpersonal relations (pp. 1–22). Cambridge (Mass.): Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Heidegger, M. (1977). The question concerning technology, and other essays. Garland Publishing,Google Scholar
  36. Helliwel, J.F. (2006). Well-being, social capital and public policy: what’s new? The Economic Journal, 116(510), C34–C45. March.Google Scholar
  37. Hochschild, R. A. (1997). The time bind: When work becomes home and home becomes work. Metropolitan Books.Google Scholar
  38. Holsten, H. (2018) How does internet use affect well-being? February 26.
  39. Hynan, A. Murray, J. and Goldbart, J. (2014) Happy and excited: Perceptions of using digital technology and social media by young people who use augmentative and alternative communication. Child Language Teaching and Therapy. January 27.
  40. Iglesias, E., Pena, A., & Sánchez, J.M. (2013). Bienestar subjetivo, renta y bienes relacionales. Los determinantes de la felicidad en España. Revista Internacional de Sociología, 71(3), 567–592.Google Scholar
  41. Kessler, L. (2018). Why does fake news spread faster than real news? It’s all about pleasure. PsychologyToday. April 10.
  42. Kraut, R., Kiesler, S., Boneva, B., Cummings, J., Helgeson, V., & Crawford, A. (2001). Internet paradox revisited. Journal of Social Issues, October 12. Version 16.2.
  43. Kraut, R., Patterson, M., Lundmark, V., Kiesler, S., Mukopadhyay, T., & Scherlis, W. (1998). Internet paradox. A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being? American Psychologist, 53(9), 1017–1031Google Scholar
  44. Lane, R. (1991) The market experience. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Layard, R. (2003) Happiness: Has social science a clue? Three lectures. First lecture: What is happiness? Second lecture: Income and happiness: Rethinking economic policy; Third lecture: What would make a Happier society. Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures. Londres: London school of economic.Google Scholar
  46. Layard, R. (2006) Happiness: Lessons from a New Science. Penguin.Google Scholar
  47. McKenna, K. A. (2008). MySpace or your place: Relationship initiation and development in the wired and wireless world. In S. Sprecher, A. Wenzel, & J. Harvey (Eds.), Handbook of relationship initiation (pp. 235–247). New York, NY: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  48. McKenna, K. Y. A., Green, A. S., & Gleason, M. E. J. (2002). Relationship formation on the Internet: What’s the big attraction? Journal of Social Issues, 58, 9–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McMahon, D. (2006). Una Historia de la Felicidad, Taurus.Google Scholar
  50. Mercader, J. R. (2017). Robotización mecanización pérdida de empleo. Trabajo y Derecho, nº 27, 13 a 24.Google Scholar
  51. Mochon, F., & De Juan, R. (2015). Happiness and social capital: Evidence from Latin American countries. Handbook of happiness research in Latin America. Editorial SpringerGoogle Scholar
  52. Mochón, F., & de Juan, R. (2017). Capital social y bienes relacionales. In Iglesias, J., & De Juan, R. (coords.) La felicidad de los españoles. Tecnos.Google Scholar
  53. Mochón, F., & Rojas, M. (2014). Editor's note. International Journal of Interactive Multimedia and Artificial Intelligence (Special Issue on AI Techniques to Evaluate Economics and Happines), 2(5).Google Scholar
  54. Mochón, F., & Sanjuán, O. (2014). A first approach to the implicit measurement of happiness in latin america through the use of social networks. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Multimedia, 2(5), 17–23.Google Scholar
  55. Nussbaum, M. C., & Sen, A. K. (1993). The quality of life. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pénard, T., Poussing, N., & Suire, R. (2013). Does the Internet make people happier? Journal of Socio-Economics, 46, 105–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Postman, N. (1985) Amusing ourselves to death: Public discourse in the age of show business. Penguin.Google Scholar
  58. Putnam, R. D. (1995). Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. Journal of Democracy., 6(1), 65–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rebecca O’Brien, R. (2017). Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard: The truth behind ‘the social network’. July 14.
  60. Rita Watson, R. (2018). Research reveals why fake news is so powerful. PsychologyToday. July 27.
  61. Rojas, M. (Ed.). (2016). Handbook of happiness research in Latin America. Springer.Google Scholar
  62. Rojas, M. (2006). Life satisfaction and satisfaction in domains of life: is it a simple relationship? Journal of Happiness Studies, 7(4), 467–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rojas, M. (2007). The complexity of well-being: A life-satisfaction conception and a domains-of-life approach. In I. Gough & A. McGregor (Eds.). Researching well-being in developing countries. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Rojas, M. (2009) Consideraciones sobre el Concepto de Progreso. In M. Rojas (coord.). Midiendo el progreso de las sociedades: reflexiones desde México (pp. 71–78). México, Foro Consultivo Científico y Tecnológico.Google Scholar
  65. Rojas, M. (2014). El Estudio Científico de la Felicidad, Fondo de Cultura Económica.Google Scholar
  66. Rojas, M. (2017) El estudio de la felicidad. In J. Iglesias & R. De Juan (coords.) La felicidad de los españoles. Tecnos.Google Scholar
  67. Rojas, M., & Martínez, I. (coords.). (2012). La Medición, Investigación e Incorporación en Política Pública del Bienestar Subjetivo: América Latina. Reporte de la Comisión para el Estudio y Promoción del Bienestar en América Latina, Foro Consultivo Científico y Tecnológico, México.Google Scholar
  68. Sherman, L. (2018) Why Facebook will never change its business model. Forbes. April 16.
  69. Sherman, L. (2018) Zuckerberg’s broken promises show facebook is not your friend. Forbes, May 23.
  70. Sherman, L. (2018). Zuckerberg’s promises won’t fix facebook, but you can. Forbes. May 23.
  71. Surowiecki, J. (2005). Technology and happiness. MIT Technology Review. January 1.
  72. Tatarkiewicz, W. (1976). Analysis of Happiness, Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  73. van Praag, B.M.S. (1968). Individual welfare functions and consumer behavior, North Holland.Google Scholar
  74. van Praag, B. M. S. (1971). The welfare function of income in Belgium: An empirical investigation. European Economic Review, 2, 337–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. van Praag, B.M.S., Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A. (2004). Happiness quantified: A satisfaction calculus approach. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  76. van Praag, B. M. S., Frijters, P., & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A. (2003). The anatomy of subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 51, 29–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Veenhoven, R. (1984). Conditions of happiness. Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  78. Veenhoven, R. (1993). Happiness in nations: Appreciation of life in 56 nations. Rotterdam: Erasmus.Google Scholar
  79. Veenhoven, R. (2000). The four qualities of life. Ordering concepts and measures of the good life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1, 1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Veenhoven, R. (2001) What we do know about happiness? Working Paper. Rotterdam: Erasmus University.Google Scholar
  81. Vosoughi, S., Roy, D., & Aral, S. (2018). The spread of true and false news online. Science. 9 de marzo. Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1146–1151.
  82. Zhan, G., & Zhou, Z. (2018). Mobile internet and consumer happiness: The role of risk. Internet Research, 28(3), 785–803. Scholar
  83. Zuckerberg, M. (2017) Bringing the world closer together. June 22.
  84. Zuckerberg, M. (2019). Understanding Facebook’s business model. January 24.
  85. Zuckerberg, M. (2019) A privacy-focused vision for social networking. March 6.

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNEDMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations