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In his essay "Get Happy", Walter Mosley laments that Americans are unhappy,

unhealthy, the fact the claim to happiness for all Americans in the Declaration of
Independence is not being fulfilled and that potential to search for happiness has been
hindered in our world. But, the world now is not what it was when the Declaration of
Independence was written. Mosley recognizes this, however he fails to take this shift
in paradigm into account when making his claims about how we can change the state
of happiness in the world as it is, and that undermines his ideas and claims.

Mosley speaks out against the current state of American happiness, mentioning the
Declaration of Independence as the main catalyst for him speaking out. He writes to
expose how the loss of the potential for happiness belongs to all of us, However, his
essay is not a moral one, it doesn't exactly argue for the right to happiness for
everyone, and how that right and its accessibility to all may have changed or
deteriorated as the world has changed. He initially focuses on each and every
individual's right to pursue happiness, with his opinion being based on the
Declarations contents and claims. His references and examples, which he uses to
illustrate the unglamorous ways with which we reach out for happiness grow terribly
specific and then broaden out again ADD QUOTE TO REFERENCE THIS AND
WHY THAT IS WRONG/AFFECTS READER. This creates confusion as his target
audience is then not clear, and it muddies the actual intent behind his essay because it
is not apparent to the reader which micro-reality he is trying to tackle. "Happiness is a
state of mind cultivated under a sophisticated understanding of a rapidly changing
world," and "In times gone by, the world didn't change so fast," are both very intricate
statements Mosley makes, which demonstrate to the reader his understanding of the
modern world. He understands how fast it changes, how tricky to navigate it can be

on an emotional level, but ultimately fails to realize that these observations are crucial
in forming the level of happiness and state of mind of a person.

In the information age, in the technological age, happiness is a very micromanaged


emotion. People may rarely ever feel happy all throughout a week, a day, and an
afternoon. Our mood, our attention is so sparse, stretched thin that is cannot solely be
commanded by one entity for lengthy amounts of time, and is perhaps even less likely
to be facilitated well by a government project as he suggests. Happiness is an emotion
that only truly reverberates throughout our entire being on rare occasions nowadays.
When we have a long one on one conversation with someone important, when we
accomplish a long-standing goal of ours, or when we can muster up enough of what
resembles an attention span and speak and listen to others at a dinner table. Happiness
now is a much more minuscule emotion, we usually feel little bits of it often, and
when that low hanging fruit is no longer of access to us, even for a short amount of
time, sadness strikes. It is something that is hardly fully 'felt' now because again, our
attention, our emotions are always looking for the next thing to get attached now in
that moment and thus cannot ever fully be in the moment.

In this time, something that has come under great scrutiny in relation to its effect on
happiness is the social media and how we use it. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the
like have all become staples of someone's online presence. On a basic primal level, it
cannot be denied how our interactions with other human beings affect our well-being,
our sense of belonging, our sense of safety and therefore our happiness. There are a
lot of mixed findings in regard to how social media affects our happiness. Let's take
Facebook for an example. The sum of findings on Facebook, have mixed conclusions

on the link between Facebook and happiness. There are studies that indicate that our
happiness is increased through Facebook use, but there are also show that Facebook
use affects our loneliness. According to an article in The New Yorker, positive, active
Facebook use, where users are actively interacting and paying attention to the content
they pursue, can "increase social trust and engagement. It is passive use that leads to
negative effects on users. The greater number of things we have pulling at our
attention, the less we are able to meaningfully engage, and the more disconnected we
become," The insidious nature of the effects of social media on us is what makes it
such an important factor to think about when we talk about what affects our
happiness. Social media users have their attention stretched terribly thin, while
simultaneously having their need for attention constantly being fed. This puts them in
state of always wanting more, and never having enough, because the Internet for them
becomes and endless stream of information, opportunities to seek validation, and
opportunities to receive it. Thus, they can never truly feel the happiness that they
crave or the happiness they think they will find, because by the nature of their social
media use, it becomes increasingly fleeting.

The moment that social media users begin to place a greater importance on the
happiness (or validation) they glean from their online persona is the moment where
the composition of their happiness begins to change. An article from NYMag
speaking out about how social media affects our level of neediness states I think
people give too much value to the like, This is almost the entire phenomenon of
social media as it affects us now, summed up in a single statement. With the level of
interconnectedness that exists now, where it is easy to interact with masses of
strangers online in various ways, people begin to use social media as a source of self-

validation. You can be an exaggerated version of yourself, you can post something
totally outrageous, you can essentially let your online persona live out your wildest
dreams and break free of your strongest inhibitions without much consequence at all.
And if it gets approval, you feel an immense sense of relief, but also a dumbfounded
jolt of positive energy and emotion, which encourages you to keep going. Over time
however, this can become dangerous and unhealthy on an emotional level. Thats
because over time you become dependent on that like, on those little shows of
approval, and it becomes a fulcrum for your well-being, because People are
addicted, we experience withdrawals. We are so driven by this drug, getting just one
hit elicits truly peculiar reactions, And that is ultimately unhealthy because real, true
happiness is earned, and comes from actions and feelings that are more grounded in
reality than just sentiments that can be expressed online on a whim, with a single
thoughtless tap of a finger. Our online persona is needier than our real one, but at
the same time, we can fall prey to really living through our online selves, and
therefore having the state of our online persona carry over to the state of our real self,
thereby concretely linking our happiness to the relative success of our latest post or
comment.
To conclude, it is clear to see that happiness now is an emotion that has become
very micromanaged, fragmented and personalized to each individual, and how they
experience their lives. It seems very unlikely that any sort of widespread lack of
happiness today could really be treated with Mosleys one size fits all approach. It
will not be government programs that pigeon-hole people of different shapes and sizes
and mental states into a box and work to fix their situations, but rather a change in the
mentality and view towards what happiness truly is on a personal level and how it can

be achieved without any short cuts that will allow individuals to take a look what they
value in their lives and try to adjust that.

COMMENTS FROM WORKSHOP


Clear argument
Convincing persperpective
Voice, sources help to back up
Integrate quotes into sentence better
Making a clearer connection to Mosleys argument clearer statement on Mosley
THESIS
Specify how his claims are undermined
Second para good point, but confused over
Refine intro or thesis, reference social media in introduction because you talk about it
later, talk about my points a little bit more in introduction in response to Mosleys
points
EXPAND on micro reality, what is it exactly
What does it mean for happiness to be micromanaged or _____ etc.
Put in Mosleys argument that you are responding to specific quotes abt screens and
etc.
Add my stance on his content one sentence in the intro
LABEL sources more explicitly
Lonely this
Some transitions can be clarified, amplify the SO WHAT in some parts
Strengthen linkage of attention span to happiness

Break up last sentence