Think having kids will be your ticket to fulfillment? Not so, says a new study. Might as well save all that energy for a roll in the hay, because sex ranks as the most enjoyable human activity. Perhaps more surprisingly, drinking alcohol, or partying, came in second. (No word on whether the study was conducted in a frat house.)
Researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand used an interesting method to get people to gauge their happiness in real time: they asked participants to rate their activities throughout the day, via text message, from best to worst in terms of pleasure, meaning and engagement -- a technique called “experience sampling.” So, although partying ranked second in terms of pleasure, it finished 10th in meaning.
While I can understand a hookup being more enjoyable than chasing around a screaming toddler, I find it a little troubling that sex also ranks number one in terms of meaning and engagement. That must be some mind-blowing sex they're having over in New Zealand.
So where do kids place? Well, a little further down. Volunteering, meditation and religion -- all very personal, self-centric activities -- came before it in terms of pleasure. Caring for children ranked a dismal fifth. Sorry, kids.
Of the least pleasurable activities known to mankind, getting over an illness ranked number one. Number two? Facebook, of all things. Could this mean the beginning of the end for our favorite digital dalliance, or do we all just have a love/hate relationship with the addictive nature of social media?
Do you find these survey results surprising or so obvious?
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