Where Today’s Young Folks Find Happiness

MTV/AP Survey released.  1,280 people between the ages of 13 and 24 were asked 100 questions regarding what makes them happy.  The number one answer to the survey, spending time with family; 75% of those surveyed said that spending time with their parents makes them feel happy.  The second highest answer was spending time with friends and the third was spending time with a significant other.  Barely anyone said that money is what makes them happy, and being sexually active might actually decrease the happiness is people aged 13- 17. Like every generation before it, today’s parents worry that their children may become consumed by tools of the devil (One of my guilty pleasures was watching The Waterboy with my kids. Remember Bobby Boucher’s Momma?).

Whether it was the 1960s counter-culture icon Timothy Leary leading young people to follow his mantra “Turn on, tune in, and drop out,” 70s youth worshiping sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, or today’s tech-savvy kids who are perceived as ultra-change oriented, not afraid of putting themselves out there for the world to see, overly confident, feeling entitled, and extremely irreverent, parents constantly worry that their kids’ pursuits of happiness are misguided, if not outright dangerous and corrupt.

Once again, however, perception and reality have failed to converge. At least that’s what a recently-released MTV/AP survey on the nature of happiness among America’s young people would have us believe.

1,280 people between the ages of 13 and 24 were asked a series of 100 questions relating to what makes them happy.

What was the #1 answer? Do you think it was IMing with friends or sharing photos and flirting on Facebook? Are you ready for this?

The top answer was spending time with family. Furthermore, almost 75% of those surveyed report that their relationships with their parents make them happy.

The second-highest answer was spending time with friends. The third highest? Spending time with a significant other.

What about sex and money you ask? It turns out that “almost no one said money when asked what makes them happy. Being sexually active actually leads to less happiness among 13-17 year olds, according to the survey. If you’re 18 to 24, sex might lead to more happiness in the moment, but not in general.”

What’s my take on all of this? Simple. Once again, our younger generation has proven that we have much to learn from them.

As for me, I now that we’re not so different after all. We share the same beliefs and values – family and fiends among them.

Many thanks to Anja Merret for including this post in the Blog Carnival of Observations on Life.

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