IELTS Essay: Developed Countries & Happiness
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New Learning Management System (LMS)
IELTS Writing
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Wrtiting Task 2

In recent times, economic growth has helped many become richer, both in developed and developing countries. However, those in developed countries are not as happy as they were in the past.
Why is this?
What can be learned from this?

As global wealth increases, there has been a surprising decrease in reported levels of happiness in developed nations. In my opinion, this is due to lifestyle changes and it teaches that money is merely a baseline requirement for happiness.

The main reason individuals in wealthy nations are less happy today relates to how people live. In the past, people had fewer free time options and this led to more time being outside and socializing. Modern lifestyles are predicated around isolation. For example, the average worker or student after a long day is likely to spend at least a few hours watching movies on Netflix, messaging friends, checking social media, and listening to music. These 21st century habits would seemingly elevate happiness levels but they are in fact a passive means of achieving low levels of contentment and pleasure. In the aggregate, this minimum threshold of commitment pales in comparison to more substantial activities.

The lesson from this development is that wealth is only the foundation of happiness. Many would claim that money has no relationship to happiness, however, this is naive since families living in poverty must obsess over simple matters such as shelter and sustenance. Money only serves to guarantee basic necessities and happiness is an active byproduct of action. This can be seen most clearly in nations that score high on happiness surveys such as in Northern Europe and Japan. Individuals in these countries tend to have more focused lives and feel they are part of a community and culture that requires active engagement. These societies prioritise involvement with others and community responsibility and shun the insular hobbies that have led to dissatisfaction in other developed nations.

In conclusion, lower levels of happiness are due to modern ways of living and this illustrates the relative importance of wealth. Happiness itself should not be an aim but rather a result of pursuing worthier life goals.