Friday, July 11, 2014

The results of my "100 Happy Days Challenge!" (social media review)

I started the #100happydays challenge on March 29, 2014, and I finished on schedule on July 6, 2014. Most of the postings were on my Facebook, a few were on Twitter, and even fewer were on Instagram. I only missed one day! (Don't tell anyone.)

Was it worth the effort? If you try it too, will you learn anything? I would say, "yes." I feel as though I've gotten into the habit of actively looking for things to be happy and excited about, each and every day. It's so, so incredibly easy to get sucked into a cranky mood and feel as though you've been irritable all day, and that there's no escaping from it. However, that isn't so! With the 100 Happy Days Challenge, you have concrete evidence that you were not in despair, anger or anxiety all day. It's a mood, it will pass.

The official site:

I read one critic of the challenge suggest that the very nature of the challenge typifies the problems of social media, encouraging banality and narcissism. I have to disagree. However narcissistic posting ordinary, bland things to an audience you may never interact with may appear at first, devaluing the ordinary, every day kinds of people and things, and feelings around you could also be considered very narcissistic! Pathological narcissism is so serious a threat to society and relationships, that I really wish people wouldn't throw the term around so casually.

Also, take into account how the challenge states in its charter that you've missed the point of the exercise if you're just looking for things to show off. The challenge encourages private posting or not posting at all. The need to feel special is possible (and not concrete) evidence of both normal and abnormal types and levels of narcissism. In my opinion, we only have malignant narcissism when there is a destructive bent involved (like a desperate need to level the playing field between the person and others, due to low self-esteem).

Pathological narcissism has a need for external validation, or mirroring. Posting alone and independently can be a great exercise in self-knowledge and mindfulness. This need for genuine self-knowledge is also antithetical to malignant narcissism. Now I'm not saying a negative narcissist couldn't latch onto this idea and be encouraged by it, but that would be an example of a disorganized mind misapplying a good thing.

I can't decide if I should go for another 100 day round! Maybe I'll do my own version of 100 days of mindful focus! I don't see why you couldn't customize the 100 Happy Days Challenge for all different kinds of self-improvement or self-awareness: 100daysoflearning, 100daysofgoodchoices, etc.