Happiness and New Technologies

What is the effect of social media on portrayals of happiness?  Most social media offer images of happiness as seen by individual users of those platforms. This might represent a grassroots, bottom-up view of happiness. How does this view intersect with the larger cultural ideologies, beliefs, and habits?

On June 30, 2018, the LA Times reported that in Hangzhou Province in China, facial recognition software is being used in high schools instead of student IDs. The students can check out books, enter buildings, get lunch, and have their attendance tracked, etc., simply by letting a computer read their faces.  However, recently cameras were introduced into the classrooms, and the same technology is used to read and score the students’ emotions.  When the score reached a certain predetermined point showing that a student was often disengaged or too moody, teachers were supposed to take action. 

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