The Tribune India, Saturday, November 21, 1998
Earn more, laugh less
The '90s man may be «laughing his way to the bank» but latest research shows that he is far less happy and more prone to depression compared to his '50s counterpart.

Recent studies have revealed that the modern man is enjoying less of laughter, prescribed by doctors as the best medicine for the body as well as the mind, that his counterpart 40 years ago.

Consequently, he is more miserable and depressed than his '50s counterpart, despite being more prosperous, says is report in The Times of London.

According to latest evidence presented to the recent 'International Congress of Humour' in Switzerland, while the '50s man laughed for 18 minutes a day on an average, in the '90 we chuckle only for six minutes a day.

Research presented at the congress also shows that we are now up to 10 times more likely to be depressed than our counterparts four decades ago. All this is despite the fact that '50s are generally remembered as austere years of economic depression characterised by the Cold War while '90s have witnessed huge rises in the human standard of living.

Experts and psychologists attribute this trend to the modern man's constant striving for material, career and personal success. They point to the old adage that «money cannot buy happiness.»

«We seem to have created today a society that puts such a high premium on performance and success. Consequently, when people fail to reach these levels, they are possessed with a sense of shame and depression,» said Dr Michael Titze, a Germany psychotherapist, who addressed delegates at the congress.