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The Alnwick Town Crier
Relationships: Youth & Happiness
Harry Enfield's classic depiction of the moody teenager strikes a chord with many of the nation's parents. The studious and polite pre-pubescent youngster who turns into an aggressive, ungrateful lodger overnight, capable of uttering only grunts in response to the most simple question is, unfortunately, a fact of life for a large percentage of the UK's mums and dads. So they will no doubt be surprised by the findings of a survey which has discovered that around 55% of our young adults say they feel happy and just 18% of 15-25 year olds confess to being miserable. Nonetheless the British Millennials seem to be the least happy of all their peers in the entire world as only a tenth of their age group globally claims to be unhappy. The findings are revealed in a large-scale youth survey by InSites Consulting which interviewed more than 4,000 respondents in 16 countries. Happy teens are to be found in Brazil, India and China, where an incredible seven youngsters out of 10 say they are content, while their counterparts in Sweden and Russia come fourth and fifth in the happiness league. British youngsters are happiest when holidaying, taking on challenges and enjoying music. Spending time with friends and family and sex are the last two items in the top five fonts of happiness. The survey also asked the youngsters to describe the days they would never forget, and which emotions they felt. Out of the 362 stories shared by British youngsters, no less than half were linked to happiness. This confirms that happiness is the main emotion for the Y generation with their favourite special occasions listed as meeting the love of their life, getting a degree or a driver's licence, a sporting achievement, getting
married and their first kiss. Top of the surprises list were getting their degree and meeting the love of their lives. InSites Consulting co-founder Joeri Van den Bergh says: "We did not find less than half the youth to be explicitly happy anywhere, but the larger share of unhappy youth in the UK was absolutely striking. "We sometimes underestimate current Generation Y's eagerness to learn. These days a youngster no longer stands out by his or her looks, but by being able to do something others can't do. "Our youngsters have been raised by their baby-boom parents with the advice to become extremely good at something and thus making it in life. Their parents of course gave them all the opportunities and means for their hobbies and passions." Unsurprisingly, events which caused unhappiness included parents divorcing, being diagnosed with a serious illness, being dumped by their partner and losing someone they care about. Technology brands bring the most happiness to Generation Y, and Coca-Cola is still the king of happiness as far as most teens are concerned. More than seven out of 10 British youngsters connect happiness with the brand Coca-Cola, which puts multinational the only food brand in the top five. Both Nintendo and Samsung, the number two after Coca- Cola, and Apple were linked to happiness by more than six out of 10 British youngsters. Van den Bergh continues: "Coca-Cola has of course been campaigning for a long time with the slogan 'open happiness' and both the highly imaginative 'happiness factory' commercials and the Xmas and music festivals activations clearly stick to our youth. Another remarkable fact is that the other brands in the top five linked to happiness - except the clothing brand Diesel - are technology brands. "Generation Y is not called the technology generation for no reason. Previous generations saw car brands as the unlimited freedom, whereas this generation chooses mobile phone brands, gaming, internet and computer brands."