Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.

Introducing the #whyareUsmiling project

Designed to make people happy, #whyareUsmiling isn't as much a question as it is a movement to get people to do it.

What makes people smile?

There are hundreds of languages spoken across the world, yet the only universal one cannot be heard.

A smile is a smile.

Everyone is a native; it requires no right or wrong look, no right or wrong accent. Without even a sound, the only universal language can be understood by all.

Photo: "whyareUsmiling" Instagram
"Because I'm in the middle of a mid-life crisis and a bunch of 21-year-old girls want to take their picture with me" - Danny Zuker @dannyzuker #modernfamily #Newhousealum #whyareUsmiling

I want everyone who watches the video above and checks out the #whyareUsmiling Instagram project to feel good that people can smile at such small or trivial things. Or maybe they’re big things, and then people can be grateful for what they do have. Maybe they’re smiling because they finished a school project, or maybe they’re smiling because a parent just finished chemotherapy for the last time.

I think that being able to smile at the end of every day is a blessing in itself and something to share with everyone.

This idea was inspired by looking at everyday life, and encouraged by friends and family. This world gives us a lot of reasons to be sad, but for every one reason, there are five more to be happy.

We have to still believe that this world is a good place, so I wanted people to have something to watch that’ll convey that. People use a smiling face to portray happiness, but where does that joy really come from?

I ask people the cause of their smiles because it’s an everyday curiosity. We see someone grinning and it makes us a little more interested as to why. We want to know but don't ask; it’s part of our human natural desire to find answers — and now we have posed the question.

Like the saying goes, a smile is contagious.

Click below to see recent #whyareUsmiling moments on Instagram

Syracuse University social psychology associate professor Leonard Newman defines the contagious natures of smiling as the “chameleon” effect.

“People have a tendency to imitate other people's nonverbal behavior,” Newman said. “This can happen unconsciously. When you're sitting across from someone who crosses his or her legs, the chances that you will cross your legs will increase. When you're talking to someone who gesticulates a lot, once again, you're going to do that more than you would have otherwise.

"The same is true for facial expressions — being around 'smilers' can lead to smiling.”

Not only is smiling the one universal language, but it’s also the one infectious "illness" we could all afford to spread.

“Some research suggests that just as a happy mood can increase smiling, smiling can itself improve your mood,” Newman said. “In fact, in a famous study, researchers subtly manipulated people's facial muscles so that people ended up with a smiling expression — although the people weren't aware of that. Nonetheless, their moods improved.”

#whyareUsmiling isn’t just a face to a name; it’s a reason to smile — and who doesn't want that?


whyareUsmiling title=

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.