Mar 17 2012
Recently at LSRG someone told us about the web app called Illuum (www.illuum.com), and we decided to check it out. Turns out, the app is pretty simple. As the homepage states, “Illuum is a new web app to track, study and improve your happiness…It gets you out of your head and shows you things you never knew about yourself. All for the low low price of whatever you feel like paying!” To get started, you can either click on “Yes, I like being happy! Sign me up.” Or, you can choose the way of all sorrow by clicking on “No thanks, I like being sad.”
Spoiler alert: If you clink on “No thanks,” you will receive the following message: “That’s cool too! Appreciating sadness is a healthy approach. You can still use Illuum to find out when and why you’re not doing great, but we don’t want to be pushy. Instead, may we suggest a thick blanket and a nice warm mug of hot chocolate?” It’s reminds me of the scene in The Matrix, where Neo has to choose between the red pill or the blue pill. Knowledge or ignorance? Ignorance is bliss, right; or at least a thick blanket…
Anyway, you may be wondering how exactly this app would be useful, since you’re probably already pretty capable of figuring out if you’re happy or not. Well, the thing is, maybe you’re not as aware as you think you are. What Illuum gives you is the ability to stand outside yourself (statistically speaking) and objectively appraise how your happiness is trending. Maybe it sounds strange or clinical to assign a numerical value to your relative bliss, but then again, maybe you’ve not been assigning it any value lately.