I look at profile pictures, and I see people smiling. It’s a sentiment. I see happiness. An image of happiness. People want to communicate a message of happiness, regardless of whether they are actually happy or not. 

It’s instinctual; whenever a photo is being taken, smiles go up. Regardless of how sad the moment is, the moment being captures always transfigures itself into a smile. And because a smile exists, it must be a happy moment.

I’m sure some of those people who are smiling are genuinely happy with their lives. There are some people who genuinely lead happy lives without pretending that they do. I take issue with those individuals, but that’s another issue. I would daresay that the majority of people do not experience happiness on a regular basis. I would conjecture that the majority of smiles found in photos are not reflections of happiness but merely a pained contrived expression.

I am guessing, but I know this. Most people know this.

People aren’t happy all the time, so why do they pretend they do? Why do people instinctually say “Good” when asked, “How are you doing?” Why is any deviation from “Good” considered to be distasteful? Why is there such an obsession with seeming happy?