Be Happy! The Super Bowl Blackout was a Collectable Experience

February 4, 2013 BY danariely

superbowl blackout 2013Collectable experiences are defined as unique, unusual, novel, or extreme experiences. Instead of viewing the Super Bowl blackout of 2013 as a frustrating experience, view it as a “collectable experience” and you will enjoy it more.

That’s what researchers did one New Years Eve in Times Square with a similarly frustrating event. Spectators were increasingly nervous about the oncoming snow. However, when the researchers reframed the night as “the first New Years Eve snow in recent history,” spectators enjoyed the event much more as they became part of a unique story—a collectable experience.

We all want to be part of stories and to collect experiences to tell stories about. Some of us want this more than others (known as people high in productivity orientation), but all of us are looking to some degree to build our experiential resumes full of unique and fascinating experiences (e.g. staying in Ice-Hotels, going to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, eating at a weird restaurant).

Last night, millions of Americans collected an experience. An experience that other generations did not have and will not have. This blackout was a good thing, especially if we can get ourselves to think of it as a good thing. For happiness is often found simply in how one looks at things.

 ~Troy Campbell~