WINOOSKI – Vermont has recently been ranked as the best place to live in America, beating out Hawaii for the happiest state for the first time last fall. With a Well-Being index score of 64.1%, the green mountain state made national news as the place in the country with the happiest residents. Now, as of around noon yesterday, that score has risen to almost 80%, thanks to the lack of social media access experienced by most users.
“It’s astonishing actually, the results we’re seeing,” said Winooski social scientist Dr. Madeline Doctor. “One of my colleagues ran over and just said, ‘Maddie, you have to see this.’ You know, Vermont actually tied with South Dakota on the WB Index, but South Dakota got most of its points in physical well-being, whereas Vermont scored highest socially and emotionally. So to lose a huge chunk of online social communication and to have the score increase, it was mind-blowing.”
Dr. Doctor cited reports gathered from around the state, showing that Vermonters were not only socially happier, but physically healthier too, even after only one afternoon of the outage. Bike paths were overflowing with people on leisurely strolls, workplace productivity increased by 327%, and all over the state coffee shops were filled with heads slowly raising and blinking into the faces of their friends and family, some of them for the first time in months.
“I guess I am happier now,” said Vermont resident and Instagram user HippyDippyLemonFlippy96. “At first I was really, well, I was going to say angry, but I think it was more anxious, you know? I didn’t really know how to react. I felt adrift. I kept taking photos of my vegan pot pies, but I had nowhere to post them. So I ended up making a few extra pies and bringing them over to my neighbors’ house. They screamed when I rang the doorbell, but once they recovered, we actually had a really nice conversation. I might do it again if Insta is still down tomorrow.”