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Saturday, 29 March 2014 - 1:52am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

The challenge has been met with an eclectic mix of ripostes online and yet, holds strong digital ground says Jyoti Punjabi

The introspective and over-analytical twentysomething cynic in us first begs the question: a virtual universal panacea turning one's seemingly monotonous life into an exciting existence one should be utterly grateful for – all through experimental digital validation. Are we looking at yet another social media trend taking the world by storm all while rendering the statement "stupidity is contagious"? Seemingly so, if we had to go by the Internet trolls and cynics. If that is the case, then even the most sardonic being can come up with reasons to be happy. Did not fall down the stairs today. Successfully eluded a crow suffering from the runs while running late to work. Avoided an upset stomach after that a stomach-churning-yet-delectable vada pav. Or better yet, steered away from any Candy Crush request! How is that for a happy moment in a day for the new-age self-doubting pessimist?

The #100HappyDays challenge is straightforward in the gist of it all: posting a picture of a moment or of something that makes the person happy on each day, all while lasting a hundred days, peppered with enough likes and comments on Instagram and facebook to keep the challenger going. And millions are adhering to it, even swearing by it, making it a daily ritual in their seemingly run-of-the-mill lives. So, does taking a picture of the same ol' boring froyo you eat every week suddenly add to its appeal by having it posted online as a "happy day" memory? While we are not here to analyse the psychoanalytic logistics of it all, what the #100happydays challenge does highlight is the inherent need for us mere mortals to pursue happiness, in any form it may be.

The debate on happiness being of importance to us or not to lead a meaningful life is one for the more adept intellectuals to ponder over, but let us just say that in a world that values achievement and performance, happiness remains more than just an advantage for many. Psychologists world over have admitted that those a tad cheery are less successful and are academically more advanced – albeit we have all seen some scornful nerds in school, walking around with noses turned up, flaunting their sky-rocketing grades. Nonetheless, what psychologists from Harvard Medical School also highlight is that there is a direct correlation between someone else's happiness and our own in the world of social media. Studies in fact suggest that happiness only spreads through social networks. It does not stop there: it goes three degrees of separation further. It turns out that your friend's friend's friend's happiness could affect yours, which it turns brings us back to the #100HappyDays concept. Really, just how bad is it to have happiness as a leitmotif go viral worldwide for the betterment of no one else but the person taking on the challenge?

Hence, we have, cynicism aside, compiled the top 10 best #100HappyDays moments we believe deserve their spot in our 'Genuine Happiness' list.

But just how happy do you really have to be? Let that Instagram selfie of yours do the talking today or linger on your baby's gurgling moment of the day and you might just figure out your variants of happiness. Les frivolous? More fluffy? Take your pick, the #100HappyDays challenge is clearly here to say.


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