Technological Affluence and Happiness (Everything Except TV is Good)

In a study probing the association between ‘technological affluence’ and general well-being it was found that computers, mobile phones and music players increased self-reported levels of happiness, while television ownership decreased it.

That is: the ownership of most modern technological goods makes us happy, except for televisions, which make us sad.

Using self-reported life satisfaction as a measure of subjective well-being we find that a fixed phone, a mobile phone, a compact disk player, a computer and an Internet connection are all associated with higher levels of well-being, whereas television sets are associated with lower levels. We further provide evidence suggesting that the level of mobile and broadband penetration matters for life satisfaction as well. Our estimates indicate that, at a minimum, an individual requires a 10% increase in GDP per capita as compensation to [cease] holding these products. Further implications suggest that increasing mobile penetration by 10% has limited effects on implied GDP per capita, contrary to a similar increase in broadband penetration.

via Tim Harford