Feeling thankful for the new Facebook thankful reaction.
In the past decade, we've learned a lot about happiness. We know that what once made us happy can lose its luster. We know that experiences make us happier than things, most of the time. Choosing to be grateful will make you happier.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can translate what we know about happiness to designing technology. Designers take the complex and make it simple. We aim for a moment or two of delight, a spark of joy. Ideally, we want to create long-term attachment. But adapting what experts know about personal and collective well-being to technology is a work in progress.
Once in a while, I see a hint of what's to come. For Mother's Day, Facebook introduced a thankful reaction, a flower. My first reaction? I want to use thankful for many posts, and not just on Mother's Day. I want to use it in a way that I haven't yet adopted the other reactions. A lot of posts ultimately come down to people and events and ideas that make me feel grateful, after all.
When we actively practice gratitude, it has a positive impact on well-being. Hopefully, Facebook will keep the thankful reaction. It takes us a step closer to integrating well-being interventions into design. And hopefully, Facebook will share what they learn about how people give thanks too.