Text Me Some Happy Thoughts. Why?
If you had my phone number, would you text me some happy thoughts? Unprovoked, you probably wouldn’t. I hesitate to suggest that the motive of many a text is purely egotistic. What could be a negative outcome of taking a minute to think about the things that make you smile, make you laugh, and make you love? I can only imagine this altruistic desire to make the world, or at least part of it happier, in a time when time is a commodity in high demand, is what led one Lee Gannon to create Text Me Some Happy Thoughts.
You most likely haven’t heard of this game, unless you’re a hipster. If you are, well done, but it’s time to put down your skinny chai latte and heed my warning; stop playing it, it’s getting a bit too popular. The basics of it are just that, basic. You send a text to five friends/acquaintances/colleagues asking them to ‘Text me some happy thoughts!’ while reminding them of the leniency of the rules, in as much as it can be anything that makes you happy, from the profound to the ridiculous, be it your own opinion of the man you have become or your enjoyment of a particularly excellent Radio 4 comedy show. Maybe you’d like to get a bit sentimental, that’s fine too, if that’s what makes you happy, then that’s what you should text.
It’s a simple idea that could easily become popular; simplicity is always a key component of these sorts of internet-born activities. In these times, where mental illnesses like depression are starting to wriggle free from the stigma that used to encase them, a prompt from a friend to stop and consider what rays of happiness pierce your shrouded view of the world – especially when you’re prompted with the sort of ferocious yet well-mannered persistence used by the game’s creator – can give you that little perk you need to pull yourself out. Even if it’s a temporary respite, it’s worth it. Equally, someone with a perpetually cheery disposition will enjoy the chance to reflect on all the good things there are around them, whether trivial or life defining. After all, contrary to the saying, it’s not just the little things.
I’ve established now that this game could well have positive outcomes, and even as the hardened pessimist I am, I’m having difficulty seeing how this could produce negative side effects. But what spurred the creation of the game? It could be, as I previously suggested, an altruistic effort to brighten up people’s everyday lives. Perhaps it was out of wondering why a text with the intent to do nothing other than make a friend smile is too rare a spectacle. Maybe it grew out of a boredom of boredom. Many of the world’s great inventions were probably pursued as a means of reducing boredom, and although this hasn’t quite reached that status yet (It could still, Stephen Fry has been tweeted) it may share a birth.
Being a good thing to do, this new creation cannot be without benefit to the instigator, a good deed never is. No, the person sending the texts may be heartened by the responses of their friends. Being reminded of the good things about life that had slipped their mind. The responses making them laugh, making them smile, making them glad they’re able to call those 5 their friends. A warm feeling indeed.
So why not partake in the spreading of joy? After all, the key to making you happier could be no more than seeing the things that make your friends’ lives better. Maybe they’ll even cite you.