There are many things that annoy the heck out of me \u2014 and the list keeps getting longer the older I get, which is a bit frightening because I don\u2019t want to wake up someday and discover I\u2019ve turned into one of those grouches who sneers at the younger generation, writes nasty letters to the editor, grumbles about Social Security and wishes the good old days would return. OMG! I\u2019ve turned into that person already! Time for therapy. Well, if I\u2019m going to complain, at least I want to make money doing it. Perhaps I could host my own talk radio show that lets people call in and gripe, or maybe I could start a support group called WA, Whiners Anonymous, and capitalize on a trend that\u2019s sweeping America. When I used to manage a newsroom, where whining was a way of life, I had a sign on my desk that proclaimed in no uncertain terms, \u201cNo WHINING!\u201d But that didn\u2019t stop an endless parade of people from coming into my office with a litany of complaints like \u201cIt\u2019s SOOOO cold in here! Turn up the heat!\u201d and \u201cWhy do we have to work on Christmas Eve??? It\u2019s not fair!!!\u201d \u201cWhy? Because it\u2019s a newspaper, and we publish 365 days a year \u2014 366 during leap year.\u201d Anyway, the affliction must have been contagious because I\u2019ve been grumbling a bit myself lately. One of the things that really rubs me the wrong way \u2014 in addition to Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, the increase in my health insurance premium, teenagers text-messaging, and dangling participles \u2014 is associating with people who are chronic \u201cnegativists.\u201d This, of course, is nothing new. Raising four daughters taught me a lot about life and unfulfilled expectations, not to mention the importance of looking on the bright side. Throughout my career as a father, I\u2019ve grown accustomed to complaints like \u201cIt\u2019s not fair!\u201d and \u201cShe got more than I did!\u201d Every Christmas I saved the receipts for the countless toys I bought so I could prove the system was equitable and that everyone was treated fairly. Just because Sister \u2018A\u2019 got a Malibu Barbie, a makeup kit, three American Girl books, and Junior Scrabble did not necessarily mean she got more than Sister \u2018B,\u2019 who only got a pink Barbie motorized sports car and a pair of underwear. The only loser was Dad, who got a travel mug and socks. Today, I\u2019m still surrounded by whiners. Colleagues complain about work, fellow commuters gripe because Metro-North is undeservedly raising fares 5%, and neighbors grumble because we\u2019re taxed more and getting less. Whenever I find myself falling into the self-pity mode, I remember something Abraham Lincoln once said: \u201cMost folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.\u201d However, in the 21st century, we haven\u2019t made up our minds to be happy; we\u2019ve made up our minds to be chronically unhappy. The Internet only exacerbates the problem. With social networking, grumbling spreads like a plague at lightning speed, and before you know it, there\u2019s a riot or flash mob. A recent study by the University of Michigan concluded that the widespread popularity of social media such as Facebook is contributing to a decline in well-being. Social networking, the researchers conclude, is spreading unhappiness. Ethan Kross, the leader of the study, which was published in the journal Public Library of Science, said, \u201cOn the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection, but rather than enhance well-being \u2026 it undermines it.\u201d Abe Lincoln, who never had a Facebook page, was right. You\u2019re only as happy as you want to be. It\u2019s time to smile more and whine less and turn off the computer. (But why does it hurt so much when I smile?) Joe Pisani may be reached at email@example.com.