Since 2017, ZEIT online has been collecting sentiment data in a daily survey: "How are you doing today?" and readers answer "good" or "bad".
In November 2021, the mood reached a low point. Since a happiness peak nearly two years ago, sentiment has fallen almost continuously.
This good mood peak dates back to March 2020. As the virus spread through Germany, the federal and state governments imposed the first lockdown and citizens retreated into their homes, the mood barometer data reflected something astonishing: people were suddenly feeling better, much better than before. That's when Viktoria Morasch set out to find out for ZEIT online: How can this be?
She met happy people and recorded their mood. Two years later, ZEIT online asks again.
I met Felix at his home. Felix found out then, what is important to him: community. He lives alone, his job is almost exclusively digital, and good friends have moved away from the city. Bad cards for encounters. That's why he formed a small Corona bubble at the beginning of the pandemic, always meeting the same people around the campfire and thus creating a real space for exchange. He would have liked to open this space to more people, but the rules forbade it.
"I'm disappointed." Felix feels society has lost its values, especially empathy. "We've become thin-skinned, more easily irritable," he says. He often sees people mobbing employees at store entrances for checking certificates. On the bus, on the street, on the Internet - he often observes arguments. Felix had seen opportunities for a big social change, a sustainable coming together. He had hoped for something that he himself could not really influence. Like Felix, many have been disappointed.