Last year when it seemed like everyone except me was doing the iPhone 4 freak out, I was perfectly content with my Android phone. I had the best time on the weekends hacking and modding it just for fun. I was convinced that iPhone users were truly missing out by not experiencing what an Android smartphone had to offer. Then, earlier this month, the Verizon iPhone 4s were released. I ordered mine at 3am when they went on sale, and I received it in the mail two days later.
Now that I’ve been an iPhone owner for a few weeks, I have no idea how I lived for so long without it. To say I love it would be an understatement. It makes me smile just to sit on the couch and play with it. In such a short time it has become a necessity in my life, not a luxury. I feel happier since I’ve gotten it. However, is that possible? Is it possible that our iPhones can actually make us happier? I went on another hunt for answers…
Of course there are apps like Live Happy and Gratitude Stream which can help us get in touch with our happiness, but I’m talking more about the iPhone gadget itself. Can owning one make us happier? It turns out that a company called Saplo recently did a study on this topic. Even though their study was based solely on people that live in Sweden, after reading the details on Venture Beat, I’m convinced it provides valuable information for everyone about this. They concluded that “Relationships, not gadgets or money, make people happy.”
However, before we all start to doubt that happiness we feel whenever we open our Twitter app on our iPhone, consider this… a different study by BCS, the Chartered Institute of IT, has a different take on it. They also conducted a detailed study, and although they found similar results to Saplo, they also concluded that above all else, we are all social beings. After our basic needs are met, in order to be happy, we need relationships. The number one thing in our lives that helps us grow our relationships is technology. One very popular piece of technology that many of us have is an iPhone.
I suppose this means that in an indirect way, from a psychological perspective, our iPhones really do make us happier people. I know writing this is going to make me smile just a little bigger next time I pick it up to send a tweet. Gimundo, a site that reviewed the second study, goes on to conclude that “The iPhone really can increase your happiness provided you use it to talk with and send messages, photos, and videos to friends and family to help strengthen your social networks, rather than simply playing Angry Birds.” Yup, I agree with that! Yay!