It’s not a great time to be a mid-career adult. While youngsters are thriving in the modern world and happier than ever before, people in their thirties are hitting a wall. This is the fault both of the Internet and of our own unrealistic expectations.
A new study out of San Diego University looks at the difference in happiness levels in the U.S. between 1972 and 2014, broken down by age, and based on a metric called subjective well-being.
Subjective well-being—which is simply how you perceive your own happiness—can be affected by income, lifestyle, and leisure as well as social support and relationships (to name only a few examples). The factors vary depending on age, with the surprise that older people live more for the moment, whereas the young plan for the future: