Technology and Stress – The Good, Bad & Ugly
Technology has become an integral part of our everyday
lives. Especially now that wireless Internet is so prevalent in phones and
laptops, we’re often expected to answer e-mails within minutes of getting them,
we’re criticized when we don’t respond to Facebook wall posts within a 24-hour
time span, and leaving our mobile phones at
home for the day is an activity of the past.
article featured in The New York Times sparked discussion of how technology
has changed our lives (and even our brain capabilities) in some ways for the
better and in some ways for the worse. In the following weeks, this blog will
feature a group of brilliant minds with diverse backgrounds in the social
sciences (psychology, communications, anthropology and sociology). They’ll be
discussing the different approaches and
thinking on the topic of technology and stress.
This is a topic that we Intel folk are very interested in.
We understand how stressful technology can be, at times. We know the feeling of
wanting to rip your hair out because you’re sick of waiting for your e-mail to
load, your computer to unfreeze, or your document to appear.
Research shows that each person spends an average of three
days every year just waiting for technology. This time spent waiting can cause
excessive stress, which Intel has coined “Hourglass
Syndrome.” The name comes from the tiny hourglass you see on your screen
when your computer is taking its sweet time to do something. We thought it was
an appropriate metaphor. Trust us when we say that we’ve been there, and we’re
sick of waiting too.
Like I said, Intel understands how stressful technology CAN
be. So we’ve been determined to design products that improve the quality of
your life and lower your stress levels, as opposed to increasing them. How did
we do this? It involves a team of social scientists to study
how people actually use technology.
Although technology can create stress, using the right
technology in the right context can actually help alleviate stress. The
scientists here at Intel can show us how to do that.